In 1995, Mauritius Telecom, the national telecommunications operator in Mauritius and France C⢬es et Radio (FCR), a subsidiary of France Telecom, responded to the ever-evolving and increasingly sophisticated demand for telecommunication services in Mauritius by establishing a strategic alliance and setting up Telecom Plus Ltd.

Telecom Plus has been set up with the main objective of providing value-added telecommunication services to support the development of basic networks in Mauritius. Witnessing a rapid growth since its inception, Telecom Plus is presently expanding its scope and offering its services well beyond the frontiers of Mauritius.

Phonecards have been available on Mauritius for since 1992. At first the cards were optical-Landis & Gyr. The optical cards were available in 10, 20, 50 and 120 units. See photo of the optical phonebooth that was used previously

Optical phonebooth Phonecard (German Landis and Gyr)

Since 1998, the cards are chip phonecards with Ascom chip and have a 10% VAT on them. The face values: 25 units R30+VAT, 55 units R50+VAT, 115unitsR100+VAT, 240unitsR200+VAT, 500unitsR400+VAT.There are several chip modules, including the Eurochip. The 25 units card has been discontinued after one design.

There are phone booths around the island especially in cities, in public buildings in most villages & near the beaches. I have selected a close up of a card phone & 2 pictures of the most common chip phone booths are that in use locally.

Chip phone booths

On February 2000 the Mauritius Telecom have introduced the first remote memory cards for use with all types of modern phones issued by the company, home phones, as well as all types of public phone( coin phones, & card phones),as well as portable phones sold by its sister company Cellplus.This set of remote memory cards are called Passepartout, it is a French word meaning goes anywhere. It is a plastic card with the following face values Rs50*,Rs150*,Rs250*,Rs500* .There exist a paper card with the same design that is a test card. The date of issue printed on the back of the card is November 1999 but this has been put on sale in February 2000.

* The face values are exclusive of a 10% VAT.

From the 1st July 2001 VAT has been increased to 12% .

From the end of June 2001 the Mauritius Telecom has put into service at its head quarters one of the 25 Computers which it had received as gift from Microsoft for internet browsing & telephone calls which uses telephone chip cards. This is the first time that chip phonecards are being used for internet use as well as for telephone calls from a computer.

Since around June 2003 the Mauritius Telecom has put in service at its head Quarters an  automatic selling machine for  phonecards.