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Kapsch Group

125 years of experience.
125% dedication. 125 highlights from 125 years of company history.

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Proud of the past, ready for the future.

Since its founding in 1892, Kapsch has been dedicated to its role as an innovator and technological pioneer. From the production of the first portable transistor radios and involvement in the digitalization of the Austrian telephone system to the construction of multi-lane, nationwide tolling systems: Kapsch has always been a decisive step ahead in terms of technical milestones in the areas of communication and mobility. Our aim has always been to economically and responsibly deploy technological developments in the interests of our customers. We recognize and appreciate technology as an instrument for opening up new possibilities and improving existing ones.

Our milestones.

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1892
The beginnings: Johann Kapsch founds a precision mechanics workshop for portable Morse telegraph equipment, underwater telephones, and batteries.
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1910
Comprehensive: Products range from lightning conductors, rain-proof alarms and capacitors to underwater and above-water telephones.
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1910
Elbow grease: The telephone must be wound before being able to make a call.
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1910
Widespread: Kapsch’s telephones are delivered throughout the entire Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
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1912
Expansion: Kapsch erects a modern factory building (Plant I) at Johann-Hoffmann-Platz 9 in Vienna’s Meidling district.
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1914
Product range expansion: Kapsch erects telephone and telegraph centers, like the one here at Vienna’s Westbahnhof railway station.
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1915
Practical: The ink writer is portable and embosses paper – meaning that information can also be analyzed without light.
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1916
Dependent: During the First World War, Kapsch almost exclusively supplies the army – and often has to wait a long time for payment.
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1919
Product expansion: The manufacture of capacitors, tin tubes and dry batteries enables access to new markets.
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1920
Dialog: The battery-operated company device has a button for two-way call and voice traffic.
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1920
Continuity: After 1918, Kapsch continues to supply customers in Prague, Trieste, and Zagreb – and plays a key role in expanding the telephone network and direct dialing.
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1920
Innovative: A 4.5 volt battery powers this flashlight from the 1920s. Kapsch develops and manufactures both products.
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1924
Pioneer: Kapsch manufactures the first radio device with tubes and detectors, and becomes a co-founder of RAVAG, the Austrian Radio Verkehrs AG.
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1925
Powerful: This battery serves to operate a radio. It has over 60 cells, thereby achieving a voltage of 90V.
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1926
Recycling: Before buying an expensive, new telephone, an older one is upgraded: This is an example of one with a dial.
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1927
Innovation: At the Vienna Expo, Kapsch presents telephones, aerials, and radio devices, such as the “Reinartz-Baby” model.
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1927
Proverbially: As one of the leading technological providers, Kapsch advertises with the slogan “Wer von Radio spricht, meint Kapsch” [“Say radio, think Kapsch”]
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1929
Optimization: The network anode to operate devices with up to five tubes replaces the expensive and short-lived anode batteries.
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1930
Premiere: Kapsch presents the television in Austria for the first time – with a complete transmission and reception system.
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1931
Convenience: The desk telephone with support ring makes it possible to walk around while on the phone – for as far as the cable extends.
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1932
Vision of the future: Electric clocks are available with a radio and built-in alarm, but there are not enough buyers.
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1935
Galactic: The radio models “Mars” and “Komet” are fitted with the patented “TRI-LUX” dial, which shows the selected station using a light pointer.
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1937
Connected: The number of telephones connected in Austria reaches 135,000. Kapsch offers the “Monopol” miniature telephone device.
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1938
Propaganda: All radio producers in the German Reich are obligated to manufacture NS-era radios for a defined price.
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1943
Escape: The Jewish author Johannes Mario Simmel works at the Kapsch battery plant from October 1943. A supervisor lends him his bicycle to escape from the Nazis.
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1945
Zero hour: Partially bombed, partially impounded, and no raw materials. Nevertheless, the production of radios and television sets begins.
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1946
Partnership: In cooperation with the Austrian Post, Kapsch plays a key role in the reconstruction of the telephone network after the war.
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1947
Intercom: This system enables managers and their secretaries to talk directly to each other at the press of a button.
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1948
Mucki: Chief engineer Josip Sliškovič masters the art of miniaturization and builds devices that are as small as possible.
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1948
Change in technology: Telephone exchanges are converted to the switch system 48, Austria’s first standardized direct-dial system.
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1949
On the road: The “Weekend 5” is small and portable, has a built-in aerial, and is considered to be the first and smallest continental travel device.
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1950
Wireless: Kapsch enters the business field of radiocommunications, supplying the Innsbruck mountain rescue with walkie-talkies, for instance.
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1951
A leading position: Producing batteries, Kapsch achieves a market share of up to 30 percent in Austria.
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1952
Portable: The “Weekend 52” is a portable radio. The radio switches on when the lid is opened and turns off when it is closed.
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1953
Cooperation: Kapsch takes over general representation of the German AEG Telefunken GmbH, thereby enabling it to offer the full range of telecommunications.
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1953
Train communication: The radiocommunications installation “Teleport II” is shown here being used by Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) in Salzburg Gnigl.
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1953
Obstruction: Listening to the radio in mountainous Austria is not always easy. Ultra-short wave transmission paves the way for better reception.
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1955
TV era: Kapsch enters the market with the TFS 56 television set. The retail price of ATS 7,600 corresponds to around EUR 4,000 today.
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1955
Robust: This telephone set for miners, weighing 30 kilos, can withstand exposure to water, ammonia and petrol.
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1958
Revolution: Transistor technology revolutionizes the production of radios. With “Capri”, Kapsch releases the first fully transistorized-portable radio in Austria.
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1958
Prestigious: 53 cm tubes above and a noise box comprising three concerto speakers below. A feast for the eyes and ears and a bargain from ATS 7,180.
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1959
Mini: The small transistor receiver “Starlet” scores points for fitting in a lady’s handbag.
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1960
Conference: The telephone system “Velox A” is suitable for two to nine participants – perfect for doctors’ surgeries, architects, and law firms.
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1961
Assembly line production: 42,700 delivered radios help Kapsch generate the most revenue in its company history at that time.
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1965
Quiet: Kapsch develops a new low-noise dialing disk for telephones that remains in use until the 1980s.
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1965
Indispensable: Capacitors store electric charge and energy. They are used in nearly every electronic device.
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1967
Colorful: “Chromamatic” – Kapsch’s first color television comes on to the market too early. ORF only broadcasts the New Year’s concert in color in 1969.
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1969
Intercontinental: At the Schillerplatz telephone exchange, so-called “international telephone points”, also known as “America points”, are set up to enable telephone calls abroad.
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1970
Best seller: The “TR20”, one of Kapsch’s last own radio makes, impresses with its own Ö3 button.
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1970
Train communications: Kapsch develops Austrian train radiocommunications and begins exporting its know-how around the world.
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1971
Expansion: The expansion of telecommunications by the government calls for greater supply capacities. Kapsch opens a new plant in Gänserndorf.
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1972
Non-leak: A third of all batteries in Austria are made by Kapsch. Several products have a patented non-leak guarantee.
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1972
Partnership: Kapsch takes over the general representation of the Japanese electronics group Sharp in Austria.
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1976
Effective: The engine switch system 60M is used in a container design as a private branch exchange for sports reporter communications at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck.
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1979
Aviation safety: Kapsch supplies the antenna technology, antenna protective cover and building technology for the Koralpe medium-range radar system.
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1980
Digitalization: Together with Schrack, Kapsch begins introducing digital telephony in Austria. Here you can see a circuit board being inserted at the Favoriten telephone exchange.
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1980
Looking to the future: Kapsch beings manufacturing printed circuit boards – a key requirement for many future company divisions.
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1981
Far-reaching: High-performance short-wave antennae are erected on behalf of ORF.
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1982
Early warning system: The Tauern railway and Arlberg line are fitted with train radio technology, making them much safer.
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1984
Mobile: The “Mobilstar” car telephone is designed for the C network in the 460 MHz range. 35,000 people can be reached via a standard nationwide area code.
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1985
Innovative: “DataStar” is Austria’s largest digital business communications system and is used, for instance, at the ORF TV center.
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1985
Colorful: Kapsch adds a splash of color, offering the touchtone telephone “W 80” in chamois, sand, yellow, orange, dark red, blue, moss green, and dark brown.
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1985
Change in strategy: Kapsch withdraws from the consumer electronics market and focuses on the investment goods market.
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1985
Multimedia: Kapsch equips the first video conferencing studio on behalf of the Austrian Post.
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1986
Kick-off: Kapsch begins industrial production of hybrid components – miniaturized switches for different electronic functions.
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1988
Generation shift: The train radio communication system 2000 is developed together with Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). The new device is the first product from the company’s in-house production.
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1988
Transatlantic: Kapsch installs its first radar system on foreign soil in Montevideo – and delivers consoles to Buenos Aires.
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1989
Eastwards: Kapsch establishes numerous agencies in Central and Eastern Europe, and works to digitalize the Hungarian telephone network.
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1990
Market potential: Kapsch presents the communication system “TeamStar”, the private branch system “DataStar Meridian”, and the car and mobile telephone “MobilStar” at the trade fair in Brno.
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1990
Reliable: The Karlsplatz control center for Vienna’s underground system is based on the “DataStar” switching system.
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1991
Mobile communications network: The first telephone call in Austria using the new digital mobile network GSM is possible in 1991, and GSM is available nationwide from 1994.
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1991
Progressive: Kapsch equips the Plzeň brewery with IT infrastructure for internal communication.
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1992
Aviation: As a specialist for air traffic control, Kapsch modernizes the tower infrastructure at Vienna Schwechat airport.
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1992
Practical: The D network makes smaller devices possible, enabling the first generation of mobile phones. Kapsch launches the “HandyStar” mobile phone on the market.
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1993
Artwork: Kapsch combines technology with art, developing telephone calling cards in cooperation with artists.
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1994
Old town protection: The electronic access control system in Bologna’s historical city center, installed by Kapsch, is compelling: 35 Italian cities follow suit.
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1994
Internationalization: Several European railways are fitted with train radio systems by Kapsch.
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1995
World first: Kapsch implements the Austrian ecopoints system for truck traffic – the world’s first emissions-based traffic management system.
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1995
Fixed line: The T95 telephone model offers speed dialing with 10 storage slots, sound processor, repeat dial, microphone switch-off, disconnect button, and much more.
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1995
Discontinued: Kapsch develops the “Multicard” chip card – a contactless, multifunctional card made from polyester. Sales and production problems cause it to be discontinued.
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1996
Tried-and-tested: Kapsch is involved in the development of all mobile communication standards since 1980, and continues to help Telekom Austria to implement new developments.
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1998
Bridge building: The Öresund and Storebaelt bridges between Sweden and Denmark are fitted with an electronic toll collection system.
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1999
Down Under: Kapsch installs the world’s first electronic toll collection system for multi-lane free-flow traffic on the Melbourne City Link highway.
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2000
Taxi radio: In 1996, Kapsch takes over the Swiss company Indelco. Its radio system is used in nearly 10,000 taxis across Europe. The company is sold again in 2001.
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2001
Europlaza: A large business park, housing the headquarters of Kapsch Group, is built over several development phases on the site of the former production plant in Vienna’s Meidling district.
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2001
Acquisition: Kapsch takes a 74 percent stake in Schrack BusinessCom in the course of the digitalization of the Austrian fixed-line network. The acquisition forms the basis of Kapsch BusinessCom.
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2002
Sawubona: Africa’s first single-lane electronic toll collection system is installed on the Platinum Toll Highway in South Africa.
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2002
Cooperation: Kapsch and the insurer Allianz Elementar Versicherung realize one of the largest communications outsourcing projects in Austria.
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2003
Smart: Kapsch develops and produces the “GO box”, which is needed to collect the mileage-dependent truck toll in Austria.
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2004
Truck toll: Austria implements the world’s largest comprehensive multi-lane, free-flow toll collection system.
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2004
Directísimo: The fully electronic multi-lane, free-flow toll collection system on the Autopiste Central enters service in Santiago de Chile.
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2005
Card reader: This device is used to “read” e-cards and surgery cards, and is used by doctors in Austria.
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2007
Award: CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, presents Kapsch with an award for its production of special circuit boards – so-called opto-hybrids.
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2007
Stock market: Kapsch TrafficCom AG lists on the Vienna Stock Exchange to raise capital and to acquire innovative companies.
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2007
High-speed: The nationwide toll collection system “MYTO CZ” is built and commissioned in the Czech Republic by Kapsch in just nine months.
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2007
Australia: Kapsch supplies the central traffic telematics system for the North-South Bypass tunnel in Brisbane. Other orders follow.
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2008
Data storage: Kapsch’s high-security data center is 320 meters below the ground near Kapfenberg, Styria, and serves to securely store sensitive data.
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2008
India: Kapsch builds a modern toll collection system for the National Highway No. 8, and provides the main toll collection point with 32 lanes.
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2008
Thailand: Kapsch installs toll collection systems for three of the largest city highways in Bangkok, as well as the Bang Na Expressway, one of the largest bridges in Asia.
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2009
Update: Following the successful installation of the e-card infrastructure, Kapsch offers an all-in package to around 1,000 additional healthcare providers.
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2010
Base: The on-board unit (OBU) is an electronic device that is read wirelessly and used to identify vehicles.
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2010
Train communications: This train communication device is a kind of smartphone for the train driver. Kapsch becomes a leading provider of digital train communications (GSM-R) in 2010.
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2010
Technology transfer: Kapsch converts the Austrian telephone network with three million users to Voice over IP (VoIP) without a single failure.
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2010
Rewarded: Kapsch is awarded the “Klima Aktiv Award” for its work to optimize the ventilation, air-conditioning and lighting of a production and a logistics hall.
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2010
Cloud computing: Kapsch focuses more intently on the areas of network and IT – through investments in own development and the acquisition of corresponding know-how.
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2011
Pioneering work: Kapsch installs the national toll collection system in Poland in record time.
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2011
Prospects: Kapsch TrafficCom is chosen by the American E-Z Pass® Group as a supplier for the ten-year technology and service agreement.
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2012
Future: The train communications system GSM-R and the train control system ETCS form the basis of the standardized European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS).
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2013
Belarus: The electronic toll collection system installed by Kapsch in Belarus enters commercial operations.
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2013
Saudi Arabia: Kapsch equips the high-speed train on the pilgrimage line between Mecca and Medina with GSM-R, thereby ensuring safe railway traffic.
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2013
Public transport: Kapsch develops the Public Transport business area, installing the digital radio communications network for the Newcastle metro in England.
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2013
Prestigious: Kapsch wins the maintenance and software development contract for the fully electronic toll collection system on the Golden Gate Bridge.
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2013
Progress: Austria becomes the first country in the world to implement a complex WAM (wide area multilaterion) solution for air traffic control.
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2014
Fitness check: 80 million users, 800 million gigabytes: 66 Kapsch servers support the IT infrastructure for the “Runtastic” fitness app.
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2014
Fast: The DYNAC traffic management system processes traffic data in real time, enabling short reaction times in the event of congestion, accidents, or other emergencies.
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2014
Informative: Kapsch supplies the 44 square-meter-large LED display board for the new Vienna Main Railway Station.
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2015
Connected: Kapsch equips seven Chinese railway lines, covering a total of more than 2,000 km, with GSM-R solutions.
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2015
Cross-border: Kapsch develops the Anglo-Dutch program CHARM to modernize traffic management on highways.
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2015
Trendsetting: Kapsch takes over the US company Streetline, which makes smart parking solutions that guide car drivers to the next available parking space.
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2015
All-in-one service: Kapsch manages the entire IT infrastructure of the Tyrol Air Ambulance in a certified data center.
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2015
Investment: Kapsch invests in the Graz company evolaris next level GmbH, a center of excellence for mobile communication and innovation.
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2016
Growth: Kapsch takes over the transportation business of Schneider Electric, an international specialist for real-time IT solutions and intelligent transportation systems.
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2016
No conductors: A bus fleet in Accra, Ghana, is fitted with an intelligent ticketing solution together with Scania.
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2016
State-of-the-art: Kapsch provides comprehensive, high-speed WiFi and cutting-edge multimedia technology at Rapid Vienna’s Allianz stadium.
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2017
Company anniversary: With over EUR 1.1 billion, Kapsch generates the most revenue in its history in fiscal year 2016/17.