Central Telecommunications Office

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Coordinates: 49 ° 52 ′ 7.8 "  N , 8 ° 37 ′ 36.7"  E

Flag on the official car of the presidents of the OPDn , the PTZ and the Central Telecommunications Office
15 × 25 cm ,? ?Service flag on land Historic flag

The Central Telecommunications Office (FTZ) was a central agency of the Federal Postal Administration based in Darmstadt and was founded on March 14, 1949. The FTZ, which was originally subordinate to the Federal Ministry for Post and Telecommunications, was subordinated to the Deutsche Bundespost - General Directorate Telekom on July 1, 1989 as part of the postal reform . 1 October 1992 was renamed the Research and Technology Center (FTZ also abbreviated), a month later, on November 1, 1992, the association with the Center for Telecommunications of the former Deutsche Post of the GDR in Berlin. With the privatization of the postal system, the FTZ became part of Deutsche Telekom AG on January 1, 1995 .

Some tasks were outsourced to the Central Telecommunications Licensing Office (ZZF) in Saarbrücken as early as 1991 , which was renamed the Federal Telecommunications Licensing Office (BZT) on March 10, 1992 . These subtasks have been performed by the Federal Network Agency since 1998 .

Among other things, the FTZ was responsible for the approval of all telecommunications equipment in the Federal Republic. The primary goal was to prevent network disruptions from non-compliant devices. Telecommunication devices were only allowed to be operated on the telecommunications network of the Deutsche Bundespost after a detailed technical examination by the office ; and radios were reviewed. Both the function and operational safety were thoroughly tested. After passing the test, the device was approved for operation and the so-called FTZ number was assigned. The device manufacturers had to bear the relatively high costs of the test.

From July 1, 1989 the FTZ saw itself as a technology center for the telecommunications services and networks of the Deutsche Bundespost.

The function of the FTZ is implemented in a completely different form today, namely through the open innovation approach of T-Labs , with locations in Berlin, Bonn, Darmstadt, in Silicon Valley and in Israel. Some of the specialist areas of the FTZ came up there and are still active today in order to ensure the future viability of the Deutsche Telekom network.


The forerunners of the FTZ are the Telegrafentechnisches Reichsamt (TRA), the Reichspostzentralamt (RPZ), the Research Institute of the German Reichspost (RPF) and the Post and Telecommunications Central Office (PFZ). The RPZ and the RPF stopped their work at the end of the war in 1945. As their successor, the PFZ in Frankfurt am Main was founded in 1947 when the British and American zones of occupation merged to form the Bizone . Its tasks were divided between the FTZ and the Central Postal Service (PTZ) on March 14, 1949 with the founding decree of the main administration for the postal and telecommunications system of the United Economic Area . Since then, the FTZ has had its headquarters in Darmstadt's West district in today's Europaviertel , and the PTZ in Darmstadt's city center.



In the administrative structure of the Deutsche Bundespost, which according to Article 87 Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law was run under federal administration with its own administrative building, the FTZ was directly subordinate to the Federal Ministry for Post and Telecommunications (BPM). It was a medium-sized federal authority and on an equal footing with the post office directorates , but differed from them in general in that the spatial area of ​​responsibility extended to the entire federal territory. At the beginning of the 1970s, it was considered whether the FTZ could be given the rank of higher federal authority due to its central tasks and responsibilities .


FTZ material pocket book from the inventory of the Wertachtal shortwave transmitter
The Central Telecommunications Office also set the charges for direct-dial telecommunications . This shows the cost of a call over a distance of more than 300 km according to time. Example: A long-distance call of 10 minutes in length would cost 14.70 DM during normal daily working hours. The increase is linear, ie those who telephoned twice as long saved nothing. Status: July 1, 1972
The fees are staggered according to the distance between the parties. Example: A long-distance call of 10 minutes in length over a distance of 50 km cost 4.20 DM. The charges remained constant over a distance of 300 km. Status: July 1, 1972

According to the rules of responsibility for telephony, telegraph and radio in general, the FTZ had to deal with all tasks of general administration, operation, development, planning and construction as well as technology outside of the Ministry's actual business area that were regulated uniformly for the whole of Germany.

It had to support them through their own research, investigations and practical work, to summarize the procurement system and to advise the chief postal offices. As part of its management tasks, the Federal Post Office met u. a. Fundamental decisions on operational and technical development as well as on the conditions of use and fees in telecommunications. To this end, the FTZ observed the technical and technological progress, presented the industry with development tasks and proposed the optimal solution for the general introduction to the Federal Post Office, if it was not entitled to make decisions.

His preliminary work for the ministry included the treatment and promotion of operations, technology and administration in the broadest sense. It had to observe developments at home and abroad, collect and evaluate experience and knowledge, take up suggestions, conduct investigations, carry out trials and tests. The solutions or proposed solutions generally included a large number of individual scientific investigations and preparatory technical, operational, traffic-related, administrative and, above all, economic considerations.

The FTZ took care of the modernization, typification and standardization of the structural forms, developed uniform planning guidelines for all telecommunications investment areas and procured a large number of telecommunications equipment and devices. These tasks were of great economic as well as economic importance. The FTZ did not deal with the development and manufacture of industrially mature products.

The Deutsche Bundespost left the development of the telecommunication devices from prototype to production readiness exclusively to industry. In the FTZ, individual laboratory samples were produced only for carrying out research tasks or for the purposes of development control. For the telecommunication objects to be supplied by the telecommunications industry, the FTZ developed the specifications and delivery conditions. It also laid the foundations for carrying out the quality inspection of these items, professionally steered the quality control centers in the OPD districts, advised them and checked the contractual execution of items in the central quality control center in special cases.

The FTZ fulfilled important central tasks with the structural planning for the telecommunication networks, the supraregional coordination of the network expansion and the development of procedures and guidelines for the optimal wiring of the telecommunication facilities.

The traffic theory , in conjunction with the electronic data processing great ways to improve the network structure and rationalization of the network expansion .

The FTZ had several modern high-performance electronic data processing systems that were used for tasks of operational control in telecommunications and the optimization of telecommunications networks as well as for scientific tasks. The FTZ was involved in specific individual construction projects for switching , transmission , radio and line technology if these were of supraregional importance or had special technical features (individual solutions, new technologies).

It was primarily up to the FTZ to control the technical development in these areas, to set technical and operational standards and to generally enable the Oberpostdirektion by issuing regulations and guidelines to carry out their district management tasks in the area of ​​planning, construction and operation to fulfill independently.

One of the main tasks of the FTZ was the operational and administrative rationalization. In this context, it carried out cross-regional business management and ergonomic tasks, developed telecommunications standard and type buildings as well as telecommunication type towers in reinforced concrete. Another central structural engineering task was the construction of the radio tower .

Central tasks were also assigned to the FTZ in the basic and advanced training of telecommunications service personnel as well as in invention, patent and documentation matters; these were carried out jointly by the FTZ for the postal and telecommunications systems. Central tasks with sovereign powers include, for example, the administration and allocation of radio frequencies and the protection of radio services against interference (which is now performed by the Federal Network Agency ).

In 1986, a New Central Office was formed in the area of ​​responsibility of the Vice President and commissioned in several steps to design a reorganization of the FTZ under the framework conditions of the Future Telecommunications Office and the expert opinion of the Government Commission Telecommunications and taking into account the aforementioned influencing factors. Since the introduction of competition in the areas of mobile radio, satellite communication and end devices was imminent and therefore considerations were made to combine the corresponding functions in their own, largely independent organizational units.

National and international cooperation

The FTZ worked in numerous national and international specialist committees in which members of the FTZ largely represented the Bundespost with regard to technical and operational telecommunications matters. They were z. B. in the study commissions and working groups of the International Advisory Committee on Telegraphs and Telephony (CCITT) , the International Advisory Committee on Radiocommunications (CCIR) , the European Conference of the Administration of Postal and Telecommunications Administration (CEPT) and the European Broadcasting Union ( IUR). The FTZ thus contributed to the solution of international technical and operational telecommunications problems. It provided specialist studies and provided several chairpersons for study commissions and working groups. His contribution to the successful work of the International Telecommunication Union (UIT) has been recognized internationally. In the same way, the FTZ was represented by its members in the relevant domestic and foreign technical-scientific organizations and standards committees such as IEC and VDE .

Operational trials and control services for telecommunications services

One of the tasks of the FTZ was to test new telecommunications services in so-called operational trials. Most of the services then made it into regular service. The following is a short list of developments from 1979 to 1989:

  • Screen text : Operational test from 1980 to 1983, then regular operation.
  • Datex-P : Operational trial from 1981 to 1982, then regular operation.
  • Gedan : Operational trial from 1981 to 1983, then regular operation.
  • Teletex : Operational trial from 1981 to 1982, then regular operation.
  • Cable connection : Regular operation at the end of 1983.
  • Service 130 : Operational trial from the end of 1983 to 1985. Thereafter regular operation, known today as Freecall 0800 .
  • TV telephone with 140 Mbit / s : operational trial from 1984.
  • Telebox : Operational trial from the end of 1984 to 1985, then regular operation.
  • Video conference : operational trial from 1985.
  • C-Netz : Operational test from 1986 and regular operation in the same year.
  • Telephone meeting : operational trial from 1986.
  • Temex : Operational trial from 1986, regular operation from 1988 until it was discontinued in 1994.
  • Voice storage service : operational trial from 1986.
  • ISDN : operational trial from 1987 and regular operation since 1989.
  • Cityruf : Operation trial from 1988 and regular operation since March 1989.

Personnel and organization

In 1949 the FTZ had around 800 employees; at the beginning of 1968 there were around 1900 workers, including around 240 with previous scientific training and around 600 engineers . This increase was due to the expansion and addition of many tasks. At that time, the FTZ had already outgrown the scope previously provided. From the strong increase in tasks and the technical progress, conclusions had to be drawn with regard to the organizational structure and distribution of tasks at the FTZ. In 1968 it was reclassified into four main departments. Another restructuring took place in 1980 through the distribution of tasks between the existing main departments and the formation of three further main departments. At the end of 1988 over 2900 people were employed, of which the group of engineers and computer scientists made up the largest share with 1300 people. In 1989 the authority was divided into eight main departments, the research institute with its five research areas and the service integration project organization (PDI), which was organizationally at the level of the main departments . The main departments were further subdivided into 27 departments , two project departments, around 150 units and around 30 project units or special units.


The FTZ was headed by a president . He represented the Deutsche Bundespost in and out of court and was the superior of the members of the FTZ. Its permanent representative was the vice-president. This took over matters from the functional area of ​​the President, if the duties as superior were not affected.

The presidents were paid according to the old salary order B in group B6 with tariff class II of the housing subsidy. After the reform of the salary law, this corresponded to B7, the Vice President was paid to B3. In both cases this corresponded to the same grade as that of the presidents of the largest post offices.

In total, the FTZ had four presidents in the course of its existence:

  1. Karl Herz from March 14, 1949 to October 31, 1959
  2. Hans Griem from January 1, 1960 to July 31, 1963
  3. Friedrich Maul from August 1, 1963 to January 31, 1973
  4. Ronald Dingeldey from February 1, 1973 to March 1, 1991

After Dingeldey, the then head of the research institute of the Deutsche Bundespost at the FTZ and previous deputy Udo Mlecek took over the management of the office, but he was not appointed president due to the imminent privatization.


Houses 40 and 47 of the former FTZ in Darmstadt
The Lowenstein castle was used as a training center of the FTZ since 1948th
Used today by the Federal Network Agency, the DLZ 16 satellite measuring point

From 1948 the FTZ was almost closed in Darmstadt on the 20 hectare barracks of the Wehrmacht , the 6th Cavalry Regiment (not Leibdragoner ), built between 1937 and 1939 , and housed in four external rental buildings. The barracks were initially used on a rental basis and converted as far as possible for technical and scientific work. New laboratory buildings, an administration building, antenna systems and other technical facilities were also built on the site after the land was acquired in December 1958. With the constant expansion of the work and the addition of new tasks, the existing buildings were not sufficient to accommodate all positions properly. In the early 1970s, therefore, new buildings were planned for the research institute of the Central Telecommunications Office and the central test workshop of the FTZ, some extensions and a large dormitory for the FTZ in the Darmstadt Telecommunications School Office, which was subordinate to the FTZ . In the Leeheim area , the FTZ had a large antenna measurement site for research and test purposes , which is still used today by the Federal Network Agency (Eschborn branch). In addition, there were still small measuring points, among others on the Predigtstuhl , in Kranzbach (Upper Bavaria) (note: probably meant Kranzberg ) and Hambach an der Weinstrasse . A larger branch office with three research groups was located in Berlin in part of the former RPZ service building. There was an endurance test laboratory in Munich, which dealt primarily with individual tasks from contact physics .

In Kleinheubach am Main, parts of the Löwenstein Castle were rented as early as 1948 for use as a training and education facility for the higher and higher telecommunications service. Deutsche Telekom, represented by DeTeImmobilien , continued to use the castle as the legal successor after the privatization.

Official publications

The FTZ published a large number of different publications, including:

  • FTZ - Development of Organization Tasks, January 1983.
  • Annual report 19 ... (1967 to 1990).
  • Kleinheubach reports: Lectures and reports from the joint conference of the Ionosphere Working Group of the URSI State Committee in the Federal Republic of Germany, the Information and System Theory Technical Committee and the Wave Propagation Committee of the Telecommunications Society (NTG) (later with other NTG committees), 1975-1990.
  • Communications from the FTZ (1948–1965).
  • Messages from the research institute of the Deutsche Bundespost (1978–1989).
  • News from the FTZ (1952–1989).
  • Professors' Conference 19… in the FTZ (1969–1987).
  • Directory of the sound and television broadcasting stations in the Federal Republic of Germany including Berlin (West) , 1965–1986.


  • Published on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Post and Telecommunications , Bonn:
  • 40 years of FTZ and PTZ in Darmstadt. In: Archive for German Postal History . Issue 1/1989, publisher: Society for German Postal History e. V. ISSN  0003-8989 :
    • Michael Reuter: 100 years of central technical offices at Post - 40 years of FTZ and PTZ in Darmstadt. Pp. 5-17.
    • Michael Reuter, Jürgen Eck: The organizational and personal development of the FTZ. Pp. 18-27.
    • The presidents of the FTZ. Pp. 28-29.
    • Rolf Görg: The development of the FTZ site as a contribution to urban development in Darmstadt. Pp. 156-164.
  • Alfred Kühn: The organizational structure of the FTZ. In: News from the FTZ. No. 3/1983
  • Ronald Dingeldey : Telecommunications Central Office Darmstadt; Origin, organization, tasks. In: Archives for the postal and telecommunications system. No. 3/1974
  • Telecommunication practice :
    • Alfred Kühn: The development of the FTZ's tasks over the last ten years and their organizational consequences . No. 5/6, 1985, pp. 203 ff.
    • Gerhart Goebel: From the Prussian Telegraph School to the FTZ . No. 24/1974, p. 1019 ff.
  • Journal for the postal and telecommunications industry . Josef Keller Verlag , Starnberg:
    • Richard Tietz: The Central Telecommunications Office, reclassified into four main departments . No. 9 and 15, 1968.
    • Richard Tietz: The central telecommunications office, tasks, position and organization . No. 1, 1968.
    • Alfred Keßler: The central telecommunications office . No. 11, 1955, pp. 455 ff.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Federal Archives : Order number: B 123; Other authorities; Author / Status B 4, Hm; 12/1999.
  2. 71. Introduction . ( Memento from May 2, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Federal Network Agency - Interface descriptions, September 26, 2011.
  3. a b The organizational and personal development of the FTZ. P. 23.
  4. Michael Reuter: 40 years of FTZ and PTZ in Darmstadt. P. 15.
  5. a b c Manual dictionary of electrical telecommunications , Volume 1. 1970, p. 448.
  6. ↑ Concise dictionary of electrical telecommunications. Volume 3. 1970, pp. 1970-1971.
  7. a b c Manual dictionary of electrical telecommunications , Volume 1. 1970, p. 449.
  8. ^ The organizational and personal development of the FTZ. P. 27.
  9. ^ The organizational and personal development of the FTZ. P. 22.
  10. ^ Helmut Dittrich: Telephoning .
  11. a b Manual dictionary of electrical telecommunications , Volume 1. 1970, p. 450.
  12. ^ The organizational and personal development of the FTZ. P. 26.
  13. ^ The organizational and personal development of the FTZ. P. 25.
  14. Handwortbuch des Postwesens , 1953, p. 137.
  15. Ordinance on the transition to the offices regulated in the second law for the standardization and new regulation of salary law in the federal and state levels and on the offices that will be discontinued in the future ; Appendix 2 Overview of Section 1, Paragraph 2 (offices and official titles that will be discontinued in the future) Source of the original text: Appendix to BGBl. I 1975 No. 113
  16. ^ The Presidents of the FTZ, pp. 28–29.
  17. Press Release No. 27/91; Deutsche Bundespost Telekom, Bonn, March 1, 1991.
  18. Ronald Dingeldey takes over the newly created position of the board representative for the cooperation of the Deutsche Bundespost Telekom and the Deutsche Post of the GDR. He reports directly to the Telekom board . ( Memento of March 7, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) In: Computerwoche , May 18, 1990.
  19. (spi.): Change to Telekom in Bonn. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , March 7, 1991, p. 45.
  20. Works meeting to dissolve the ZT; Telekom Film Studio Berlin; 1992.
  21. a b Rolf Görg: The development of the FTZ site as a contribution to urban development in Darmstadt. P. 157.
  22. ^ The organizational and personal development of the FTZ. P. 18.
  23. Kleinheubach Castle