- Author: Nick Rankin
- Created: 03-06-2013 12:15
- Modified: 06-06-2020 13:02
Special phonecard promoting Piero Tintori's "The Concise Irish Callcard Catalogue". View Card.
While we may best remember Telecom Eireann and Eircom Callcard’s from our collecting days, other Irish chipped phonecards were not as well known. Leaving Prepaid Phonecards aside there were several other companies in Ireland using smartcard technology supporting different types of card phones. These different phonecards were used in various locations, including, colleges, trains, company campuses and even buses! And they were just as collectable!
This blog article will cover just some of the various other types of Irish Phonecards out there, as well as providing some additional information about the various different cards.
A UCD 20 Unit phonecard. Featuring the Delphic chipset. View Card.
The University College Dublin (U.C.D) campus spreads across many acres of land in Dublin, and at one point had many cardphones installed throughout the campus. These cardphones used the Delhpic smartcard chipset. These phone booths were installed and supported by Cambridge Telephones Ltd. A number of variations exist of UCD Callcards. All UCD cards were programmed for 20 units, the exception being the UCD “Concise Callcard Catalogue” phonecard.
This card was issued in a special folder to promote Callcard collecting. Only 500 of these phonecards exist, and interestingly this card was only programmed with 5 units, compared to the usual 20 units for UCD cards.
Boston Scientific 10 Unit Callcard. View Card.
Another large company to produce telephone cards was the medical technology firm Boston Scientific.
These Callcards were only usable at Boston Scientific on campuses and illustrated on the front of the card is the Boston Scientific campus based in Galway. Both 10 and 20 unit cards are known to exist, and finding mint cards nowadays is very difficult.
The Enterprise phonecards could be purchased on Enterprise Dublin to Belfast trains. The Enterprise service was run jointly by Iarnrod Eireann and NI Railways. View Card.
Both Iarnrod Eireann and NI (Northern Ireland) Railways jointly introduced a phonecard system only useable on trains which travelled from Belfast to Dublin. This train service was known as the “Enterprise” Railway Network. These phonecards were encoded with 50 units, and many different variations exist. Unlike the Black Back Cottage Callcard, these cards covered two countries, due to a partnership with both railway companies.
The Swords based company, Superphone, were also a major producer of phonecards back in the nineties. Superphone produced many magnetic strip based phonecards, which were used on many different services, including coaches, airports and boats to name but a few. Superphone also produced many “Collectors’ Items” phonecards, to celebrate the Communications ’95 fair or the Tallaght Aerodrome being examples. They also used eprom chips in their later cards.
Smartcard technology also managed to find its way onto controlling loughs placed along the Shannon-Erne waterway. These cards, using Gemplus GEM1 chips were programmed with units for a different purpose. These smartcards controlled the opening and closing of lough gates and the use of boat parking and maintenance facilities. It is interesting to see that a technology generally applied to payphones, was also applied to waterways in such a way.