A SHORT HISTORY OF ROMANIA’S SPECIAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS

A SHORT HISTORY OF
ROMANIA’S SPECIAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS

1889

This year marks the first historical mention of state telecommunications in Romania, when a five-subscriber manual switch board was installed in Bucharest, meant to cover the Parliament and the ministries. The same year a four-subscriber automatic switchboard to cover the Royal House was also set up.

1918 – 1920

Consequently to union claims, the Mail, Telephone and Telegraph Directorate went under the authority of the Ministry of Public Works and Communications. Simultaneously, special signal units were established within the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence.

1948

Upon militarization of state structures, the Central Office, which provided the Royal House and the Parliament with the communication links, would become VIII Technical Directorate within the General People’s Security Directorate. In 1953, the Directorate went under the Ministry of Interior.

1969

In 1969, the “R” Signal Unit was established within the Ministry of Interior. The new structure took over all government telecommunication activities and integrated all signal entities as well as Interpol links with collaborators in Europe and other countries.

The “R” Signal Unit’s main responsibility was to provide both central and local authorities in Romania with telephone, radiotelephone, telegraph and radiotelegraph connections.

1989

By Decree no. 4/26.12.1989 issued by the National Salvation Front Council, the Special “R” Signal Unit was taken over by the Ministry of National Defence.

1990

After 1990, the Special “R” Unit underwent successive reorganization aimed at adjusting its activity to the country’s latest needs, so that its structure, tasks and responsibilities should reflect the changes within the entire military system.

1992

On 18th December 1992, through a Decision by the Supreme Council of National Defence, the institution received its current name - the Special Telecommunications Service.

1993

The full separation from the Ministry of National Defence became effective through the Government Decision no. 229/27 May 1993, providing certain organization and operation principles of the Special Telecommunications Service, thus defining its status  as a central specialized structure in the field of special telecommunications.

1996

Adoption of Law no. 92/1996 on the Special Telecommunications Service organization and function.

The first historical certification of a state telecommunication structure in Romania dates back more than a century ago, in 1889, when the first five-subscriber manual switchboard was set up in Bucharest, to cover the Parliament and Ministries. At that time, a four-subscriber automated telephone switchboard to cover the Royal House was also put into operation. It is worth mentioning that from the very initialization of communications covering the country’s leadership, security became a challenge. Therefore, due to strategic reasons, these services have been part of the Ministry of Interior ever since.

Between 1918 - 1920, there were numerous union claims demanding that Mail, Telephone and Telegraph Directorate should be transferred under the authority of the Ministry of Public Works and Communications. However, the authorities of the time would not agree to this proposal, considering that the consequent strikes would jeopardize state security. Yet, a few years later, those claims were accepted and the Mail, Telephone and Telegraph Directorate went under the authority of the Ministry of Public Works and Communications.

At the same time, special signal units were created within the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defence. By 1948, the communication links for the Royal House were provided by the Central Office, which also covered the Parliament. This office, upon militarization of the state structures, became VIII Technical Directorate within the General People’s Security Directorate. In 1953, the Directorate went under the Ministry of Interior.

In 1969, a transmission unit established within the Ministry of Interior, was in charge with all government telecommunication activities, thus becoming a structure to integrate all signal entities as well as Interpol links with collaborators in Europe and other countries.

The “R” Signal Unit was to provide both central and local authorities in Romania with telephone, radiotelephone, telegraph and radiotelegraph connections.

On 1st July 1969, Mr. Iuliu Plăpcianu was appointed Head of the Special “R” Signal Unit. Starting with 1973, this unit operated within the Headquarters for Operational Technique and Signals under the Ministry of Interior.

By Decree no. 4/26.12.1989 issued by the National Salvation Front Council, the Special “R” Signal Unit was taken over by the Ministry of National Defence.

After 1990, the Special “R” Unit underwent successive reorganization aimed at adjusting its activity to the country’s latest requirements, so that its structure, tasks and responsibilities should reflect the changes within the entire military structure.

On 18th December 1992, through a Decision by the Supreme Council of National Defence, the institution received its current name: the Special Telecommunications Service.

Its full separation from the Ministry of National Defence became effective through the Government Decision no. 229/27 May 1993, which stipulated certain organization and operation principles of this institution, defining it as a central specialized structure in the field of special telecommunications. The legal framework regarding its function was completed upon ratification of Law no. 92/1996.

The importance of the Special Telecommunications Service in promoting our country’s security interests has acquired new values in terms of managing the issues on special communications and IT, as well as their protection, our institution thus acting more and more as an integrator of such solutions that state communications in Romania rely on.

At present, the Special Telecommunications Service administrates a critical infrastructure of state communications, which due to its beneficiaries, services and operational networks holds an important strategic, operational and cooperation role.

FORMER COMMANDERS OF THE SPECIAL “R” TRANSMISSIONS UNIT
(Reserve) Major-General dipl. eng. IULIU PLĂPCIANU      01.07.1969 – 01.06.1980
(Reserve) Major-General dipl. eng. STELIAN PINTELIE      01.06.1980 – 23.06.1984
(Reserve) Brigadier-General dipl. eng. VICTOR DANCIU      01.10.1984 – 16.03.1987
(Reserve) Major-General dipl. eng. RADU REMUS      16.03.1987 – 11.01.1990
DIRECTORS OF THE SPECIAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE
(Reserve) Major-General dipl. eng. IONEL DUMITRESCU      11.01.1990 – 12.06.1990
(Reserve) Brigadier-General dipl. eng. ȘTEFAN COMAN      12.06.1990 – 20.12.1995
(Reserve) Major-General dipl. eng. TIBERIU LOPATIȚĂ      20.12.1995 – 01.11.1997
(Reserve) Major-General dipl. eng. MIRCEA ANGHEL      01.11.1997 – 16.03.1999
(Reserve) Major-General dr. dipl. eng. ION SIMA      16.03.1999 – 12.02.2001
(Reserve) General dipl. eng. TUDOR TĂNĂSE      12.02.2001 – 07.12.2005
(Reserve) General dipl. eng. MARCEL OPRIȘ      07.12.2005 – 31.07.2017
Lieutenant-General dipl. eng. IONEL-SORINEL VASILCA      01.08.2017 – 30.07.2019
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