Cell Phone History
In 1949 the first car phone service
was introduced. It was called “Mobile Telephone Service” (MTS).
But the beginning of wireless communication started many years
earlier, in 1895, when an Italian physicist named Guglielmo
Marconi successfully sent wireless signals a distance of one
and one half miles.
In 1896 Marconi was granted the world’s
first patent for a wireless telegraphy system. In 1897 he
formed The Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company. During that
same year he successfully sent wireless signals a distance
of twelve miles.
In 1901 Marconi proved the curve of
the earth did not affect the successful sending of wireless
waves. He proved it by transmitting signals from Cornwall,
England to St. John’s, Newfoundland, which was a distance
of over two thousand miles.
Marconi, along with other scientists
and researchers, continued to work and do research on wireless
transmissions. In 1932 the world’s first microwave radiotelephone
link was established between the Pope’s summer home in the
small Italian town of Caster Gandolfo and Vatican City, a
distance of approximately thirty miles.
The first ship-to-shore radio conversation
took place in 1922 from the ship S.S. America, which was 400
miles at sea. Inter-continent telephone communications between
the United States and England occurred in the mid 1930’s.
As technology improved, interest in
a car phone service developed. The first car phone service
that was introduced in 1949 was a mobile service, but the
equipment was big and heavy. The phone required a large receiver
(about the size of a large piece of luggage). It was placed
in the trunk of the vehicle. To talk on the phone, a button
had to be pushed. To listen to the other person, the button
had to be released. It was similar to using a two-way radio.
A person couldn’t talk and listen at the same time. That technology
Phone calls from the first mobile phone
service were not direct-dialed. Instead, an operator working
for the mobile phone service company answered when the phone
was picked up. The operator connected the caller to the phone
company operator, who then placed the call. By the early 1960’s
the technology had improved, but only slightly. One step in
the connection process was eliminated. The phone was able
to connect directly to the phone company, saving the caller
the step of having to connect to the mobile phone service
operator first. The improved service was called “Improved
Mobile Telephone Service” or IMTS.
By the early part of the 1980’s the
phones had full-duplex capability. This meant a person could
listen and talk at the same time. The phones and receivers
were still heavy though. And, because the IMTS phones were
a type of scanner, it wasn’t unusual for a person to press
a channel button on the phone and hear parts of someone else’s
Technology continued to improve and
continues to improve today. Cell phones are very popular.
Today they are a truly mobile device and are easy to transport.
Some of the cell phones available today only weigh a few ounces.
Some of the small cell phones can be tricky to use though
because the buttons on them are very small.
Cellular technology continues to improve.
In the United States, carriers have been moving from analog
technology to digital technology. One big reason the move
to digital technology has been made in recent years is because
it allows networks to carry more callers at one time. Calls
are also more secure on digital networks, but are still far
from being totally secure.
Today, people experience fewer dropped
calls, and with the expansion of networks, there are getting
to be fewer areas where there is no reception at all. And
although many younger people are choosing to have cell phone
over a land line phone, there are still many people who are
not yet willing to give up their land line phones.
D Ruplinger is a featured writer for http://www.cellphoneshome.com.