Online banking, online booking and many more online things spread around the world because of internet. But would you believe, in 1978 there’s a network for online things in France? It is called France-Wide-Web and also called “Minitel”.
In earlier days, the purpose of this Minitel is to do banking, shopping, connect to air and rail service departments and also connect with cable TV services etc in online by using a keyboard and monitor. This was very successful at that time and this was the best communication network before originate internet. Monitor, key board, modem and the telephone connection are the main part of Minitel network. Transaction media is telephone lines and only “Text” will be visible in the monitor. Once you ordered a Minitel system it comes with the telephone and connection.
Best features of this Minitel,
- Order the needed things from shopping store.
- Booked the air and train tickets.
- Find any telephone number from online telephone directory.
- Do online banking.
- Credit card payments.
- Email box
I think you can’t imagine this kind of facilities in 1978, but Frenchmen got the chance to do work from online and in 1982 whole country covered by this Minitel network. At that time Minitel is one of the greatest technical equipment for whole world because there’s no internet at that time.
Some of the countries copied this Minitel and constructed their own networks using Minitel technology,
- British – Prestel
- Germany – BTX
- Canada – Alex Tel
- South Africa – Bel tel
- USA – Community Link
- Italy – Video Tel
After spreading the internet around the world, most of the countries are shutdown the Minitel systems. But French people not shutdown it and keep using this Minitel after the internet comes. Even in 2010 Minitel earned like 30 Million Euros with 10 Million users.
In 2012 June 30th is the last day of Minitel and the owners of Minitel decided to shutdown this network. Some reasons for this decision is,
- Further extension for Minitel is really hard
- Internet more flexible than Minitel
- The users count getting lower and lower
As internet users, we cannot forget the origin of online works Minitel. The Minitel technology is historical and good bye Minitel.