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A Brief History of Calling Cards

Sep 10, 2008
A calling card is a very useful tool that lets you make local or international calls via either a stored value system, or a remote memory system. Prepaid calling cards are perhaps the most widely used phone cards around the world today, and you can find a telecommunications provider who offers you a phone card for any country specific coverage you want. A great idea that cuts out the hassle in making long distance or short distance calls from public phone booths, the ubiquitous calling card of today started out as a simple piece of technology similar to the ATM or a key card. Technology has progressed a great deal since then, and today's calling cards are embedded with secure, sophisticated systems.

Prepaid calling cards were first used in Europe in the mid seventies. These calling cards could only function as local phone cards, and used magnetic stripes to encode balance information that the card reader would read when inserted into the same. It would take another decade and half for calling cards to slowly gain popularity and find usage around the world. Incredibly, in contrast to that, phone cards prevail all over the world, in more than 185 countries today.

Over the years, there has been a lot of development in the stored value calling card technology, spanning from the earliest magnetic stripe readers to optical storage, to microchip technology. Chip card technology is the most recent development in the history of calling cards, which had been inducted over two decades ago, in the 1980s in France and Germany. Many countries took their lead and began implementing their calling card system, embedded with such microchip technology. Initial security concerns over simple systems that could easily be hacked have given way to sophisticated secure technology of today.

Calling cards have become somewhat of collectibles, given their variety of different regional and national influences when it came to card design. Featuring a wide range of subjects, calling cards transformed from a dull monochromatic affair of the 70s and 80s to veritable displays of pop art. Bright and colorful, these phone cards had a visual appeal that prompted users to keep them even after there balance value had been exhausted, and there are serious collectors around the world who take great pleasure in chronicling these calling cards right from their early beginnings.

While the earliest users of calling cards used public phone booths with card readers to make phone calls, modern day users can just about use a calling card from just about any telephone line, or even from a mobile phone. Today, depending upon your usage, you can select your choice telecom network for the most suitable calling rates. With a plethora of calling cards for users to choose from, worrying about call rates is something of the past. Indeed, users can use calling cards to budget their phone bills. Along with advancements in the telecommunications industry, telephone cards have moved along just as well, and today have become an indispensable part of our everyday lives.
About the Author
Smart-Phone-Cards.com offers calling cards, prepaid phone cards, international calling cards for Russia, India, China & other countries at affordable prices.
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