The first STD call was made in India on this day, the journey ended in 62 years

There was a time when there was a long queue outside the STD PCO booth. People used to wait for hours to talk to him on the phone. But in the last decade, the revolution of mobile phones made STD a history. Mobile companies are giving almost free data with the facility of calling. With this, subscription of many OTT apps is available separately. People talk to their loved ones face to face on video calls in a few seconds. Perhaps very few people would know that on this day, 25 November 1960, STD service was started in India for the first time. Let us know the important things related to STD.

How did the STD journey begin?
The full name of STD is Subscriber Trunk Dialing, which means to provide facility to telephone user to make trunk calls without the help of operator. Earlier, there was a trend of trunk call in which the operator was first called and then the call was connected to the user to whom the call was to be made.

In the 19th century, telecommunications services developed automatic systems that could connect customers using telephone dials installed on each telephone. In the 1940s, direct distance dialing technology and methods were invented in the US and Canada, which enabled telephone subscribers to dial long distance telephone calls without an operator. In UK, STD started on 5th December, 1958. However, it was not until 1979 that the STD process was complete.

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In the UK, when Queen Elizabeth was in Bristol, she dialed Edinburgh on 5 December 1958, using an STD, the most distant call dialed directly into the UK. The technology expanded on March 8, 1963, when customers in London were able to dial Paris directly using international direct dialing.

Meanwhile, STD service had also started in India. STD service started for the first time on 25 November 1960. When the first call was made between Kanpur to Lucknow under STD service. Later major cities of the country were connected to this service.

How did STD service work?
STD codes were given from cities to villages to make calls through STD service. With this code, the user’s telephone number was dialled, such as New Delhi code 011, Uttar Pradesh code 0120 and Haryana code 0124. The complete number with these STD codes was 10 digits. Generally STD booths and later in homes also used to get STD codes book along with telephone directory.

How STD service reached on the verge of ending?
The era of STD started ending with the introduction of mobile phones. As the use of mobile phones increased, the trend of STDs decreased and today it is hardly seen. According to a report, in the year 2008 there were about 50 lakh STD booths in the country, which increased to about 45 lakh in a single year (2009). In about 6 years, their number had reduced to around 6 lakhs.

In 2018, Indian Railways also abolished the necessity of PCO booths at stations. Mobile phones, SIM cards, chargers etc. are now visible in the shops where STD booths used to be. Where people used to stand in line for hours to know about the condition of their loved ones, now they talk for hours while lying on the bed.

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