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Telephony goes mobile

Kapsch participated in the development of all mobile telephony standards from 1980 and continued to produce end devices until 2000. The market for mobile telephony throughout Europe was liberalized in 1996, which strongly benefited Kapsch. As an important partner of Telekom Austria, the company grew in the Central and Eastern European market and to this day continues to support Telekom Austria with the implementation of all mobile telephony standards.

Automatic Car Phone

around 1980, Photograph

The car phone – here presented at a trade fair – was a Telefunken device and designed for the B-network. The B-network, which entered into operation in Austria in 1974, used frequencies in the range of 150 MHz. The caller still had to know the radio sector in which the person being called was located. It took two days to install the telephone set in a car.

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The Car Phone ‘MobilStar‘

1984, Brochure

This telephone set was conceived for the C-network in the 460 MHz range, which entered into operation in Austria in 1984. 35,000 people were subscribed to the network. In the C-network, subscribers were reached via a nationwide uniform area code. Kapsch manufactured terminal equipment based on a Siemens license.

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Ferdinand Lacina testing the ‘MobilStar‘

1984, Photograph

Ferdinand Lacina (left-hand side of the photograph) was Austria’s Minister of Transport between 1984 and 1986. Karl Kapsch is standing next to him. Heinrich Übleis, the former director of the postal services, is standing to the right in the background.

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Mobile Telephone ‘MobilStar‘ ATC90


‘MobilStar‘ was designed for operations using the C-network; it featured a memory capacity for 100 telephone numbers. The power supply was also located in the leather carry bag. In total, the mobile telephone weighed 11 kg. It was produced at the Fürstenfeld factory.

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Schnurlostelefon ‘PortaStar 420’

1990, Promotional photo

Auch in den Haushalten wird das Telefon mobil. Ein Schnurlostelefon ist über Radiowellen mit einer Basisstation am Festnetz verbunden. 1969 hat der amerikanische Erfinder und Funkamateur George Sweigert dafür ein Patent erhalten. Das ‘Portastar 420‘ verfügt über eine Reichweite von 50 Metern in Gebäuden und 300 Metern im Freien.

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‘Handystar CDL 700E’, Brochure

around 1992, Brochure

The D-network in the 900 MHz range entered into operation in 1990 – a network that allowed for smaller devices and provided the first generation of ‘true‘ mobile phones. Kapsch reacted to this new development with the ‘Handystar‘. The D-network devices by Kapsch were manufactured by the Japanese electronics company OKI.

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Handystar CDL 700E

around 1992

The features of the ‘Handystar’ included automatic quick storing of telephone numbers, a speaker phone option, call forwarding and the possibility for three-way calls.

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Red Cross

around 2005

In the year 2000, Kapsch stopped manufacturing terminal devices and began concentrating on the construction of infrastructure for companies in cooperation with Nortel. Since then, numerous projects have been realized by Kapsch BusinessCom. For example, the mobile employees of the Vienna Red Cross were equipped with mobile telephones in around 2005. Employees can use all the functions of the shared company telephone system with a so-called ‘mobile extension‘.

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GSM Base Station

around 2010, Photograph

In 1991, the first telephone featuring the GSM standard became available in Austria and by 1994 the technology had expanded countrywide. Today, Kapsch CarrierCom functions as a system provider for telecommunications solutions for operators of fixed line, mobile and data networks.

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