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Exchanges

02/17/2011 - 10:45 AM

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The earliest telephone exchanges required manual switching: a switching operator (in Italy, the famous signorine) had to physically connect one caller to the other. The earliest form of “pre-selection” was introduced in the late 1920s, enabling local calls to be put through automatically.

Caller dialing, which did not require any switchboard operator input, was introduced to Italy by Stipel in 1931. It wasn’t until 1970 that all of the country's exchanges were fully automated and callers could dial their own calls.

In 1990, new digital exchanges made it possible to introduce new telephone services: call waiting, call forwarding, three-way calling and distance meter reading.



The images contained in this photogallery are the property of Telecom Italia. Please contact the Telecom Italia Historical Archive calling the number + 39 0115729401 to be allowed to use these images.