The Nortel 920 was released in 1997. It is very similar to Nortel’s 922 handset
. It was manufactured in France by Matra Communication.
The branding below the screen is the 'PAC logo' which indicates this phone featured Nortel’s exclusive “Personal Acoustic Control” technology which Nortel described as "a revolutionary speech processing technology allowing the integration of a handsfree function and a high audio quality." The tiny front-facing loudspeaker was part of a patented design
that incorporated tuned acoustic vents on the top and back of the handset to deliver superior audio performance in both on-ear and speakerphone modes. Likewise, a directional microphone helped to reduce the impact of background noise that might be present when the handset was used in speakerphone mode.
Nortel anticipated that mobile phone users would come to expect easy-to-use speakerphone functionality when mobile, just as they did when using featured desktop telephones in their homes or offices. They also predicted, correctly, that simultaneous voice and data scenarios would proliferate — for example reading a text message on screen while conversing over the speakerphone.
The decision to implement a way of automatic disabling the speakerphone when the phone was raised to the user's head was based on extensive research done at Bell-Northern Research (BNR) into end-user behaviours. It was also an important safety feature to reduce the likelihood of auditory damage if a loudspeaker at full volume was placed against the ear.