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The distinctive character of each major national telecommunications operating agency in Europe is analyzed followed by a brief survey of the national networks and of their interrelation. The most typical transmission and switching systems are introduced, and a summary of the most recent developments is presented. This rapid survey of telecommunications in Europe shows that the political conditions have been influential in the development of national networks which each have their own individuality. This variety of equipments, systems and methods has been harmonized to a degree by action on the part of Consultative Committees, by contacts between agencies and by liaison between the suppliers. This multiplicity of conditions is in itself a source of valuable experience and supplies a wealth of information for future planning. The trend is towards a greater interchange of knowledge and experience between the entities involved, leading undoubtedly to more uniformity of concepts and practices. This is all the more timely as the European network will progressively operate on a fully automatic basis, subscribers reaching their correspondents by direct dialing for all calls.