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The History of the Cell Phone

  • Mobile Telephone System

    Mobile Telephone System
    The Mobile Telephone System (MTS) is also known as the Mobile Radio-Telephone Service. This is the founding father of the mobile phone. The device required operator assistance to make a call and did not have direct dial capabilities. MTS was one of the earliest forms of mobile communication. For the system to work, the caller would give an operator their number and the number they were calling in order to make the call complete. MTS was developed by AT&T using Motorola products and equipment.
  • The Bell System

    The Bell System
    The Bell Systems, part of AT&T at the time, offered MTS to private customers. Unfortunately no more than twenty-five people could use the system at one time. If you spent three minutes on MTS it would cost you thirty-five cents in the late 1940's. That today would equal five dollars. As of 2008, only wilderness areas continue to use the MTS standard.
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    The history of the Cell Phone

  • Motorola Inc. Patents the "Handie-Talkie"

    Motorola Inc. Patents the "Handie-Talkie"
    The "Handie-Talkie" is a hand held radio. Engineers developed this device to aid American Troops communicate during World War II. Unfortunately, the "Handie-Talkie" was much less effective that the back mounted Walkie-Talkie, developed by Motorola forerunner, Galvin Manufacturing Company.
  • Linus Larrabee in his limo.

    Linus Larrabee in his limo.
    In the major motion picture "Sabrina", Linue Larrabee made a call from a mobile phone in the back of his limo. This call was the first time an image of a mobile phone was shown in a movie. This marked the beginning of the mobile phone making its way into American popular culture.
  • First call on a handheld Phone

    First call on a handheld Phone
    Motorola is widely considered to be the inventor of the first practical mobile phone for handheld use in a non-vehicle setting. Martin Cooper made the first call on a handheld mobile phone using a modem. A modem is a heavy portable handset.
  • Nokias First Mobile Phone

    Nokias First Mobile Phone
    Nokia released the company's first mobile phone in 1982. It may look more like a boom box than a portable phone, but the boxy, bulky, heavy device was designed for cars instead of carrying. After all, you would not want to use this 21 pound phone while walking anyways.
  • Advanced Mobile System introduced in the United States

    Advanced Mobile System introduced in the United States
    The Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) was developed by Bell Laboratories. The system used separate channels for each individual conversation requiring a large amount of bandwidth for operation. It is often considered the first generation of cellular service.
  • First 2G network for commercial use.

    First 2G network for commercial use.
    The Finnish telecommunications company, Radiolinja, launched the very first second generation (2G) network for public use. The increased bandwidth allowed for the world's first SMS text message and data transmission. Also, 2G allowed for ringtones.
  • PDA cell phones.

    PDA cell phones.
    A cell phone with PDA isn't news today, However, in 1993 it was a novel idea. The Simon Personal Communicator, jointly marketed by IBM and BellSouth, was the first mobile phone to add PDA features. This 20-ounce phone contained a pager, cell phone, calculator, address book, fax machine, and e-mail all wrapped into one. Unfortunately, this multi-purpose phone cost about $900.
  • Texting.

    Texting.
    Text messaging, also known as Short Message Service (SMS), began in the late 1980's. It was discovered by a group of European scientists who were trying to improve systems for the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). It was first used by civilians in 1993 by an engineering student completely by accident.
  • FCC opens up more frequencies for PCS data usage.

    FCC opens up more frequencies for PCS data usage.
    The FCC allowed Sprint network to take advantage of unused bandwidth in the 1800-1900 Gigahertz tinge for Personal communication Service (PCS), This allowed for larger data transmission. A lager data transmission also improved the call clarity and service for many users.
  • Fashion of Cell Phones

    Fashion of Cell Phones
    Before 1996 cell phone makers mainly worried about function overlooking the design of the phone. Motorola StarTAC created a tiny, lightweight phone introducing the concept that style was just as important. This 3.1 -ounce clamshell-style phone, which could be clipped to a belt, was the smallest and lightest of its time. Surprisingly it is also smaller and lighter than many of today's phones. Thus, today's sleek-looking phones, such as the iPhone, were born.
  • Nokia introduced the first smart phone

    Nokia introduced the first smart phone
    Nokia released the Nokia 9000 communicator. Attempting to merge a personal digital assistant with a phone, Mokia launched the first smart phone. The phone contained features such as a full keyboard and LCD screen.
  • Bluetooth

    Bluetooth
    The intended basic purpose of Bluetooth was to be a wire replacement technology in order to rapidly transfer voice and data. There were many disbelievers who thought Bluetooth would be a distant memory in just a couple of years. However, many years have passed and Bluetooth continues to improve in advancement every day.
  • Motion releases first Blackberry pager

    Motion releases first Blackberry pager
    Canadian based technology company, Research in Motion, released the first Blackberry pager in 1999. Though not a phone, the Blackberry 850 Pager was the predecessor for future Blackberry Models. After the pagers release, many companies based their mobile phones off of its technological design.
  • Introduction to Blackberry Cell Phone

    Introduction to Blackberry Cell Phone
    The Blackberry is a wireless, handheld device introduced in the 1999, Blackberry supports push e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, internet faxing, web browsing, and other wireless information. Developed by the Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM), the device delivers information over the wireless data networks of mobile phone service companies. Blackberry first made headway in the marketplace by concentrating on e-mail.
  • 100,000,000 cell phone subscribers in the United States

    100,000,000 cell phone subscribers in the United States
    The Wireless Association estimated at the turn of the 21st century more than 100,000,000 people had subscribed to a cell phone service. The total for 2000 settled at 109,478,031 subscribers. Between 1998 and 2000 was the biggest increase in people signing up for cell phones.
  • 3G

    3G
    Not long after the introduction of 2G networks, projects began to develop 3G systems. Inevitably there were many different standards with different contenders pushing their own technologies. Quite differently from 2G systems, however, the meaning of 3G has been standardized in the IMT-2000 standardization processing.
  • Camera Phone

    Camera Phone
    Most phones today come with a built-in camera. However, just a few years ago, a camera phone was hard to come by. In 2000, Sanyo and Sprint debuted the Sanyo SCP-5300 PCS phone, which they claimed was the first mobile phone available in America with a built-in camera. At its highest resolution, it captured VGA (640 by 480) images. This is a far cry from today's 5- megapixel camera phones.
  • Recycling Phones

    Recycling Phones
    In late September, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the Cell Phone Recycling Act of 2004. This bill required all cell phone sellers to take back and recycle old phones at no cost to consumers. The bill became in effect on July 1,2006.
  • iPhone

    iPhone
    Apple Inc. releases the iPhone. Combining the ideas of MP3 players and PDA smart phones, the iPhone quickly becomes one of the top sold mobile phones and Apple's largest selling products. The iPhone is able to play music and make calls eliminating the need for both a MP3 and a cell phone.
  • First 4G network in Stockholm, Sweden

    First 4G network in Stockholm, Sweden
    In December of 2009, Swedish company TiliaSonera launched the first fully 4G capable service. The company released the network in the capital city of Stockholm. The 4G network allows for high-speed data transmission and wireless broadband anywhere within the service areas.