If you’ve read through this blog you might already know something about the Dutch PTT trio that was marketed in the aftermath of the Ericofon lifecycle. Initially it was planned to sell the Ericofon in The Netherlands from 1979 to 1981, but that turned out to be until 1985 in the end. This was not because of the popularity of the phone, but due to the fact that the Dutch PTT had a huge stock that needed to be sold. And that was not so easy, so 4 more years were needed ‘to get rid’ of these phones.
The landscape in telecom-land was as follows at the end of the seventies: the Dutch state owned PTT was a monopolist. They were not keen on having ‘external’ phones on their network, so it was only ‘allowed’ to have PTT certified phones connected. They would tell you it was forbidden but in fact legally there was not an issue to do this. And this was also the time where you could buy all kind of fancy phones in all kind of stores. A huge contrast with the ‘dull’ PTT product range that was available. So this rushed the PTT into the salvation model, the Ericofon.
Actually, the Ericofon was also evaluated in the late 60’s as a potential phone for the PTT customers, but it was not selected. From old newspapers it can be concluded that Ericsson directly sold Ericofons to PTT customer in 1969 despite the fact it was not PTT certified. This explains some ‘strange’ Dutch models that I have seen in the past.
The Ericofon was not very popular in The Netherlands, but the PTT needed an already existing model that could fill the gap between the good old Ericsson T65 and its successor, the Ericsson Diavox and Unifoon (with pushbuttons). The T65 was at the end of its life and the latter were to be issued in 1981 to celebrate 100 years of telephony in The Netherlands. Also financially it was not a good period for the PTT the in the late 70’s. So the company chose an existing phone but managed to create some unique models in the limited time frame they had. The colors red and brown are unique in the world and the white is similar to the Taj Mahal. However, the black dial face for all 3 colors is unique as well.
In this post is a scan of the original leaflet that was made by the PTT. The sharp reader of this blog can see that the pictures date from before 1979. The black dial face made in the first batch ordered in 1978 was not yet foreseen with the letters PTT. Instead a sticker on the inside of the shell was placed with the same indication. Introduction was done on January 16th 1979 in Amsterdam and Haarlem and on April 1st 1979 in the rest of the country.
Not only the outside of the Dutch models are unique, also the inside was specifically designed for this operator. A typical printed circuit board with the color coding of the wires printed completes this phone. Although this chassis will work in most countries, it complies to the specific (high) demands from the Dutch operator on network connectivity.
Where the speaker is standard and glued into the ear-piece, the microphone is also typical PTT.
When it comes to the amounts of Dutch models it is expected that the following orders were placed at Ericsson: 20.000 in 1978, 60.000 in 1979 and 20.000 in 1980 which makes a total of 100.000 Ericofons.