France Télécom

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France Telecom S.A. (Euronext: FTE, NYSEFTE) is the main telecommunications company in France, the third-largest in Europe[2] and one of the largest in the world. It currently employs about 180,000 people (half outside of France) and has 192.7 million customers worldwide (2010). In 2008 the group had revenue of €53.5 billion. Its head office is in Place d'Alleray in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, and the current CEO is Stéphane Richard.


Contents

History

The telco, an administrative State service

In 1792, under the French Revolution, the first communication network was developed to enable the quick transporting of information in a warring and unsafe country. That was the optical telegraphy network of Claude Chappe. In 1878, after the invention of the electrical telegraph and then the invention of the phone, the French State created a Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. The latter was then added to the Phone Services which were nationalized in 1889. However, it was only in 1923 that the second 'T' appeared since the department of P&T became the one of PTT. In 1941, a General Direction of Telecommunications was created within this ministry. Then, in 1944, the National Centre of Telecommunications Studies (CNET) was created to develop the telco industry in France. In the 1970s, France tried extra hard to make up its delay on other countries with the programme "delta LP" (increasing the main lines). It was at the time when was built the main part of the local loop that is all the cables linking the consumers to the operator. Moreover, with the help of French manufacturers, the numerical switching, the Minitel and the GSM norm were invented by engineers and CNET researchers.

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