Australian Public Telephone


Name  SMARTCARD PHONES TSP1 (MPP=Multi Purpose Payphone) (X1 or X2 as a suffix, some in old case are Z2) 
Maker  Amper, Spain
Date  Introduced in 1997

oz-Alice 001.jpg (26910 bytes) aus-report2002_2.jpg (80660 bytes)
as seen in other countries
mex2-PlayaDelCarmen.jpg (75366 bytes) Pay phone
South Africa Mexico Croatia Spain

These phones are made to slightly different specifications for different countries. Amper state that similar phones are installed in Malaysia,China, Singapore and other countries.

These phones were introduced first in Adelaide then in Perth, Brisbane,Sydney etc.

When a phonecard is inserted into the phone a pin automatically locks it in place. This prevents the card from being removed mid call.

These phones are manufactured by a Spanish company called Amper. They have very close ties to Siemens. Siemens manufactures the SLE4436E chip which is used in the Telstra disposable phonecards.

The payphones have the Automatic fault reporting facilities found in the CT3/CP9 series of payphones. This was called DPMS but may now be called something else. The payhones all around Australia all now apparently dial a central number to report faults. These phones do not contain a bell or ringer. This means that the operator on 1234 cannot connect you to one of these phones.

An article (with picture) appeared in the West Australian 27/12/97 describing how these new phones were/are being targeted by vandals/criminals. This vandalism has now been halted/prevented with the addition of added protection to the coin box/vault.

On February 4th 1999 the Australian announced (on page 1 !)that Telstra had begun replacing most of its 34,000 new smartcard phones with "retro-fitted" Smart Payphones. According to the article "the new units were quickly found to be less durable than their predecessors, ill suited to extremes in Australian weather-such as heavy rainfall and heat-and vulnerable to vandals and theft". The article indicates that the manufacturer will retrofit the phones to make them more durable. In the article it is stated that "extensive modifications would involve changes to the face of the phone-the new units have a shiny rather than matt finish-to make them more weather and corrosion resistant."

I have seen these new retrofitted payphones at Adelaide airport (Feb '99).  They look VERY similar to the original MPP except that they have a very shiny case.

Variations of the MPP

*A phone with additional protection to the coin safe was seen in Leederville WA.

Many phones now have a domed coin head section which replaced the original coin head. This modification appears to be an attempt to fortify the head area and also reduce the incidence of rubbish being introduced into the phone.

The MPP have also been sighted housed in the CT3(c) cases. I have seen one of these phones in Manly NSW and another one in Brunswick VIC. The slot for the smartcard is at the front of the phone pointing towards the user. The phone pictured seen in Brunswick VIC has the Kirk safe. The ID number ended in Z2.

The familiar orange colouring of the cosmetic panels on the CT3(c) is not present on the "Z2" phone photographed. Another point to note is the handset is of the new type not that found on the CT3(c).

The most common reasons I have seen for the phones being out of service is that the coin tin has been stolen or that the coin slot has been smashed apart or jammed.

One very positive feature of the new phones is that they accept 5,10,20,50cent and $1 and $2 coins!

-above text by Henry Titchen. Reproduced with generous permission of the author.

Some notes
When they were first put into service it wasn't long before the vandals figured out how to break into them. The original coin head was made from thin die-cast alloy and could be broken out with little effort this would leave a very large hole right across the top of the phone giving you access to all the internal workings. They then smashed the mechanism or poked in rolled up newspaper and set fire to it burning the insides out completely because all the parts inside are made from plastic. Telstra had to spend millions of dollars to replace all the coin heads with cast stainless steel ones that could not be broken.

Then they found that people were poking things into the coin slot to see if they could get some money out or a free call but all it did was destroy the coin sensors which meant a very expensive repair. So they tried out some modified coin heads that didn't allow direct access in to the phone but these must have been no good ether because a all new head was made with an automatic shutter behind the slot, which opens only when a coin is inserted and then closes straight away. The front of the new coin head is curved to resist hammer blows and the whole thing is very thick stainless steel. These new coin heads cost $450 each, x 30,000 odd payphones to upgrade you work it out.

Oh and it doesn't end there, the phones could be easily dented as the front case was only made from 1.6mm thick stainless so Telstra decided to replace the fronts with a new one that is made from 4 to 5mm thick stainless steel, how much did that cost? Another problem was with free calls. The kids found that you could get your money back by poking a drinking straw up the coin return slot and push on part of the mech, this would force the phone to return your money but leave the credit on the screen. So all you had to do was load up the phone with $2 coins, takes 8 that's $16, poke in a straw, get your money back and have $16 in credit to play with. To get around this Telstra had to upgrade the software in all the phones. And if you want one of these phones all you have to do is pull it out with a crowbar
(apparently!!) because of the weak mounting to the phone box, Telstra was losing about 1 a month!

While all this was going on Telstra had to put back in service the old Cuts because of the lack of supply of TSP1s and spare parts. In the end it was found that in bad vandalism areas the TSP1 was just not tough enough so it was decided to take a "indestructible" CT3 case and fit it out with the TSP1 parts thus creating a new payphone - a CT3H (for hybrid). The CT3 is still the best payphone used here and I think Telstra knows that now.