Mobile phones have come a long way! Early cell phones weighed several times the mobile phones we have today and were outrageously large in size. They were only for making calls. But what do we have as cell phones today? A compact handset that is light, stylish and packed with several applications that make life seem easier and more entertaining. This means that a lot has been done technology-wise to bring about this remarkable advancement.
The origin of mobile phones dates back to around late 1940s. However, it took the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) some twenty years to give permission for the production of usable prototypes. When it finally gave the green light, the idea was put into use and companies like AT&T began making prototype mobile phones and a wireless network.
Motorola came up with the first portable cellphone, which was the birth of the name “mobile phone.” However, it wasn’t commercially available until 1983. Its features were primitive compared to the gadgets we have today. It was a whopping 12 inches long and weighed approximately two pounds. How would one put this in their pocket? Moreover, it was very expensive. The battery powered it for just an hour of talk time and could only store up to 30 numbers.
Luckily for everyone, the communication industry slowly by slowly developed this first prototype into a cell phone with better features. The developments saw shedding of more and more pounds and inches that brought about a more portable product than the giant predecessor. It was not until the early 1990s when the resemblance of what we have today as cell phones was produced.
In 1993, BellSouth and IBM came up with the Simon Personal Communicator. It was the first of its kind and had features such as a calculator, address book, pager. It coupled as a fax machine too. It weighed 20 ounces and cost $900 which was a little costly but much lower than its predecessor.
Here’s a breakdown of the history of mobile phones:
- First generation (1G) mobile phones – They boasted the first automated network and was launched in Japan in 1976.
- Second generation (2G) mobile phones – The 1990s generation saw the offset of using GSM standards.
- Third generation (3G) mobile phones – The mid-2000s generation when telephony communications emerged, such as 3.5G, 3G+ and turbo3G.
- The fourth generation (4g) mobile phones – This data-optimized 4th generation saw the growth of broadband-intensive applications by the year 2009.
The cellphone has a very interesting history from a piece of a calling device to a palmtop computer that performs all the functions a whole desktop can do, while still capable of its major task, calling and messaging. Millions of people are thankful for this technology!