Portugal, 1982

The first Portuguese telephone cards date back to 1982: in those years, two companies provided the public telephone service in Portugal: the TLP (Telefones de Lisboa and Porto), active in the cities of Lisbon and Porto, and the CTT (Correios, Telégrafos and Telefones ) that served the rest of the country. And it was the latter to install the first cardphones : supplied by Landis & Gyr, they used the optical system. The first issue was a series of two blue cards with silver graphics: one 25 units, with a circulation of 15,000, and one 105 units, with a circulation of 11,000. The cards had the optic band covered by the paint, and the codes starting with “P0” and “P2” respectively.
The CTT optical cards continued to be issued for several years, varying in graphics, in the type of optical band, and of course in the code, but kept unchanged the blue background with silver lettering. In 1991 the CTT Telecommunications sector separated and became Portugal Telecom, totally changing the graphics of the cards. The first issue by TLP, also of blue and silver cards, dates back to 1987.