Urmet cards, Italian magnetic technology

Urmet is an Italian firm, manufacturer and service provider of public telephone systems, door videophone systems and home care/alarms monitoring systems and in 1964 produced the first public telephones for Italian SIP (the old name of Telecom Italia). In 1985 it started to sell phone-boxes and telephone cards to other foreign telecoms, first of all Egypt, followed by Turkey, Poland, Argentina, and several more Countries in the world. Cards were manufactured under licence by some Italian firms, like Pikappa, Mantegazza, Technicard Polaroid and Cellograf-Simp, while Polish cards were manufactured in Poland.

Urmet magnetic cards are easily recognisable in that the corners have to be broken off before they can be used, so for new cards we refer to the cards which still have the corner intact, and for used cards, we refer to the cards with the corner broken for utilisation, even if units are still stored in the card. Earlier Mantegazza cards, produced for Italy and Egypt, were of plastic coated paper but all cards were later made in plastic. The cards are thin, like the Alcatel Bell and latest cards manufactured for foreign Countries (but not for Italy) have a use-indication system similar to that of GPT.