A Brief Yet Precise Look the History of Mobile Phones

history of mobile phones

Just like everything in the world, mobile phones have gone a long way since they were introduced for the first time. They have been changed significantly from what they have been before. Whether it’s about having cordless sets or a portable device for internet access, mobile phones have solved all the problems. Nowadays, no one could think of living with a phone since it has become a vital part by being the convenient way for text messaging, voice calling and internet access.

While looking at the history of mobile phones, it’s necessary to remember that they have evolved over five generations of which, the latest one is still prevailing among the consumers. Though, don’t think that this is all for their advancement; instead, by the time people would shift to 4G, there would be something better already available to look at. But, the considerable part is that how mobile phones have been changed? What are the stages they have gone through? Who invented the cell phone? Let’s talk about the history of mobile phones today.

0G or Pre-Standardization

In 1947, AT&T was the first mobile telecom company to commercialize the services. With the name Mobile Telephone Service (MTS), they made everything available to over hundreds of highway paths and towns. It was at the end of AT&T to connect outgoing and incoming calls so that users can easily contact each other whenever they want.
The downside of using telephones was the in-availability of portable options and presence of the Pre-toSpeak system that needed the callers to release button in order to hear what the other person wanted to say. Considering this necessity, two Bell Lab engineers proposed the idea of modern cellular network, which converted into reality in late 1960s when it finally came into the market.

It was until 1980s MTS was used, despite of the fact that AT&T had already introduced Improved Mobile Telephone Service, abbreviated as IMTS in 1965. This new service gave the opportunity to mobile phone users to enjoy user dialing, added radio channels leading to the increase of possible subscribers and calls. In New York City, around 2,000 customers used 12 radio channels that took almost 30 minutes for them to place a call.

Another important part of the history of mobile phones is RCCs (Radio Common Carriers) that was designed to replace AT&T, MTS and IMTS. The units were not only huge is size but also have significant variations from one another. Some cell phones were ‘push to talk’ i.e. half-duplex while some were mush like wired telephones i.e. full-duplex.

After some modifications, Sweden introduced the automated mobile telephone for the first time in 1960. The system helped users to avail automated connections from rotary handsets but, they have to employ a medium to forward calls. The most preferable system was named as MTA (Mobile Telephone system A) that was later on replaced by MTB.

Over the couple of years, there were also a lot of modifications and solutions introduced in the market, particularly Motorola that was in the market in 1959 while Russian and Bulgarian solutions also turned out to be the considerable ones. In 1971, the ARP network got invented in Finland that was famous for being the first commercial network successfully launched in the world.

1G or Analog Cellular Network

Cellular networks have also got modified from the first generation to what they are today. These networks used multiple cell tower sites connected through a network that helped users to switch cell towers whenever they want. The network was based on the analog technology that was first introduced in 1977 in Chicago.

the AMPS (Analong Mobile Phone System) is another worth considering part of the history of mobile phones that was developed by AT&T and took 11 years to get approved in 1971. The Japanese telecom company, NTT, took an initiative and decided to complete with AT&T by introducing their own network in 1979. After five years, they got successful and brought 1G in the market. NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephone) was another advanced form of network introduced in 1981 that prided itself for being the first to provide international roaming.

2G or Digital Cellular Network

After 1990s, everything started to change with fast pace. Just like technological advancements in different industries, mobile phones got better with the passage of time. This era opened doors for two new digital technologies- named as the North American CDMA and European GSM standard- that also increased the need for cell tower sites. Apart from improving internal components, particularly batteries, mobile devices also got smaller and smarter.

With the help of 2G advancement, SMS messaging got popular and the first SMS was sent in 1992 by a computer in the UK. After one year, Finland got an edge when GSM technology helped to deliver the first person-to-person SMS. Over time, pre-paid mobile communication got better and more and more people started to use SMS as the preferable mean of communication.


3G or Mobile Broadband

By using already available 2G technologies, NTT made an effort to introduce the first mobile internet facility in Japan that was soon replaced by 3G network in 2001. Many countries also joined the line and allowed their people to avail the facility as well.

Another crucial part of the history of mobile phones is the development of 2.5G services that were intended to improve old technologies. But unfortunately, users were not satisfied with the speed while EDGE and GPRS made room for further improvements over 2G, leading to the introduction of 3G that revolutionized the mobile phone industry. 3G transformation also helped users to avail transmission and mobile internet services.

4G or Native IP

Although 4G doesn’t have official standards, there are quite a few technologies that have actually worked as per their titles. WiMAX was the first from USA’s Sprint but, it didn’t get as successful as LTE that was famous in North America, while some parts of Australia were still unaware of it. 4G employs natve IT networks and makes sure that wired home internet and mobile connections are more in-line than before. And obviously, speed is the biggest deciding factor for mobile phone users to prefer 3G and 4G among other networks.

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