The history of cell phones: how did the cell phone come about?

the idea of cell phones it has been around much longer than the technology to provide them. As soon as the first landlines came into use, people had the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčimproving the convenience and flexibility of this new means of communication and bringing it into new areas, such as automobiles. At first, cell phones were little more than portable two-way radios, but as technology improved, the concepts behind cell phones improved rapidly.

bell labs Y Motorola The two were engaged in a dramatic race to see who could invent the first viable cell phones. While Bell Labs had installed innovative radio systems in police cars, these devices were too large for anyone to carry and therefore not practical as a truly mobile phone. However, in 1973, Martin Cooper, a scientist working for Motorola, successfully made the first cell phone call using a portable phone. The cell phone era was finally born, and who did you call? None other than his rival at Bell Labs, Joel Engel, who had been competing with him to create the invention.

Within a couple of years, both Bell and AT&T created their own prototypes and the first test areas were established. Chicago and Tokyo were the first cities in the world where you could use a cell phone, but their availability was extremely limited, and the new phones were only available to a select number of trial customers to begin with. For example, the 1979 test company in Chicago distributed cell phones to only 2,000 customers.

The idea caught on like wildfire. By 1987, there were over a million cell phone users in the US alone. It seemed like everyone wanted a cell phone and the major companies involved had really hit a home run. However, there were difficulties. For example, in the US, the FCC regulates and allocates radio bandwidth for different purposes. Radio spectrum is limited and can become ‘crowded’, so it is necessary to control who makes use of different parts of it. The area for which they granted the license cellphones, at 800 MHz it filled up quickly. Instead of giving more, however, they forced telcos to improve technology and find more efficient ways to use the bandwidth they had. By the end of the 1980s this had been achieved and the era of mobile phones that we know today really got underway. And the rest, as they say, is history.


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