The Minitel was a Videotex online service accessible through telephone lines, and is considered one of the world's most successful pre-World Wide Web online services.
The service was rolled out experimentally in 1978 in Brittany and throughout France in 1982 by the PTT (Postes, Télégraphes et Téléphones ; divided since 1991 between France Télécom and La Poste). From its early days, users could make online purchases, make train reservations, check stock prices, search the telephone directory, have a mail box, and chat in a similar way to that now made possible by the Internet.
In February 2009, France Telecom indicated the Minitel network still had 10 million monthly connections. France Telecom retired the service on 30 June 2012.
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