History of mobile phones

History of mobile phones

This history of mobile phones chronicles the development of handheld radio telephone technology from two-way radios in vehicles to handheld cellular phones.

In the beginning, two-way radios (known as mobile rigs) were used in vehicles such as taxicabs, police cruisers, ambulances, and the like, but were not mobile phones because they were not normally connected to the telephone network. Users could not dial phone numbers from their mobile radios in their vehicles. A large community of mobile radio users, known as the mobileers, popularized the technology that would eventually give way to the mobile phone. Originally, mobile phones were permanently installed in vehicles, but later versions such as the so-called transportables or "bag phones" were equipped with a cigarette lighter plug so that they could also be carried, and thus could be used as either mobile or as portable two-way radios. During the early 1940s, Motorola developed a backpacked two-way radio, the Walkie-Talkie and later developed a large hand-held two-way radio for the US military. This battery powered "Handie-Talkie" (HT) was about the size of a man's forearm.

Early years

In December 1947, Douglas H. Ring and W. Rae Young, Bell Labs engineers, proposed hexagonal cells for mobile phones. [see external link for the 1947 memo] Philip T. Porter, also of Bell Labs, proposed that the cell towers be at the corners of the hexagons rather than the centers and have directional antennas that would transmit/receive in 3 directions (see picture at right) into 3 adjacent hexagon cells. [ [http://www.privateline.com/mt_cellbasics/ article by Tom Farley "Cellular Telephone Basics"] ] [ [http://www.ieee.org/portal/cms_docs_iportals/iportals/aboutus/history_center/oral_history/pdfs/Engel366.pdf interview of Joel Engel] , page 17 (image 18)] The technology did not exist then and the frequencies had not yet been allocated. Cellular technology was undeveloped until the 1960s, when Richard H. Frenkiel and Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs developed the electronics.

In Europe, radio telephony was first used on the first-class passenger trains between Berlin and Hamburg in 1926. At the same time, radio telephony was introduced on passenger airplanes for air traffic security. Later radio telephony was introduced on a large scale in German tanks during the Second World War. After the war German police in the British zone of occupation first used disused tank telephony equipment to run the first radio patrol cars.Fact|date=December 2007 In all of these cases the service was confined to specialists that were trained to use the equipment. In the early 1950s ships on the Rhine were among the first to use radio telephony with an untrained end customer as a user.

Recognizable mobile phones with direct dialing have existed at least since the 1950s. In the 1954 movie Sabrina, the businessman Linus Larrabee (played by Humphrey Bogart) makes a call from the phone in the back of his limousine.

The first fully automatic mobile phone system, called MTA (Mobile Telephone system A), was developed by Ericcson and commercially released in Sweden in 1956. This was the first system that didn't require any kind of manual control, but had the disadvantage of a phone weight of 40 kg (90 lb). MTB, an upgraded version with transistors, weighing 9 kg (20 lb), was introduced in 1965 and used DTMF signaling. It had 150 customers in the beginning and 600 when it shut down in 1983.

In 1967, each mobile phone had to stay within the cell area serviced by one base station throughout the phone call. This did not provide continuity of automatic telephone service to mobile phones moving through several cell areas. In 1970 Amos E. Joel, Jr., another Bell Labs engineer, [see Amos Joel patent 3,663,762] invented an automatic "call handoff" system to allow mobile phones to move through several cell areas during a single conversation without loss of conversation.

In December 1971, AT&T submitted a proposal for cellular service to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). After years of hearings, the FCC approved the proposal in 1982 for Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) and allocated frequencies in the 824-894 MHz band. [ [http://www.corp.att.com/attlabs/reputation/timeline/46mobile.html AT&T article] ] Analog AMPS was superseded by Digital AMPS in 1990.

One of the first truly successful public commercial mobile phone networks was the ARP network in Finland, launched in 1971. Posthumously, ARP is sometimes viewed as a "zero generation" (0G) cellular network, being slightly above previous proprietary and limited coverage networks.s and police cruisers.

In 1978, Bell Labs launched a trial of first commercial cellular network in Chicago using AMPS [http://web.archive.org/web/20061026052339/http://www.lucent.com/minds/telstar/history.html] .

First generation

The first commercial launch of cellular telecoms was launched by NET in Tokyo Japan in 1979. In 1981 the NMT system was launched in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The first handheld mobile phone in the US market was the Motorola_Dyna 8000X, which received approval in 1983. Mobile phones began to proliferate through the 1980s with the introduction of "cellular" phones based on cellular networks with multiple base stations located relatively close to each other, and protocols for the automated "handover" between two cells when a phone moved from one cell to the other. At this time analog transmission was in use in all systems. Mobile phones were somewhat larger than current ones, and at first, all were designed for permanent installation in vehicles (hence the term car phone). Soon, some of these bulky units were converted for use as "transportable" phones the size of a briefcase. Motorola introduced the first truly portable, hand held phone. These systems (NIT, AMPS, SACS, RT MI, C-Net, and Radio com 2000) later became known as "first generation" (1G) mobile phones.

econd generation

In the 1990s, 'second generation' (2G) mobile phone systems such as GSM, IS-136 ("TDMA"), iDEN and IS-95 ("CDMA") began to be introduced. The first pre-commercial digital cellular phone call was made in the United States in 1990, in 1991 the first GSM network (Radiolinja) opened in Finland. 2G phone systems were characterized by digital circuit switched transmission and the introduction of advanced and fast phone to network signaling. In general the frequencies used by 2G systems in Europe were higher though with some overlap, for example the 900 MHz frequency range was used for both 1G and 2G systems in Europe and so such 1G systems were rapidly closed down to make space for 2G systems. In America the IS-54 standard was deployed in the same band as AMPS and displaced some of the existing analog channels. Coinciding with the introduction of 2G systems was a trend away from the larger "brickle" phones toward tiny 100–200g hand-held devices, which soon became the norm. This change was possible through technological improvements such as more advanced batteries and more energy-efficient electronics, but also was largely related to the higher density of cellular sites caused by increasing usage levels which decreased the demand for high transmit powers to reach distant towers for customers to be satisfied.

The second generation introduced a new variant to communication, as SMS text messaging became possible, initially on GSM networks and eventually on all digital networks. The first machine-generated SMS message was sent in the UK in 1991. The first person-to-person SMS text message was sent in Finland in 1993. Soon SMS became the communication method of preference for the youth. Today in many advanced markets the general public prefers sending text messages to placing voice calls.

2G also introduced the ability to consume media content on mobile phones, when Radiolinja (now Elisa) in Finland introduced the downloadable ringing tone as paid content. Finland was also the first country where advertising appeared on the mobile phone when a free daily news headline service on SMS text messaging was launched in 2000, sponsored by advertising.

Third generation

Not long after the introduction of 2G networks, projects began to develop third generation "(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. This process did not standardize on a technology, but rather on a set of requirements (2 Mbit/s maximum data rate indoors, 384 kbit/s outdoors, for example). At that point, the vision of a single unified worldwide standard broke down and several different standards have been introduced.

The first pre-commercial trial network with 3G was launched by NTT DoCoMo in Japan in the Tokyo region in May 2001. NTT DoCoMo launched the first commercial 3G network on October 1, 2001, using the WCDMA technology. In 2002 the first 3G networks on the rival CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology were launched by SK Telecom and KTF in South Korea, and Monet in the USA. Monet has since gone bankrupt. By the end of 2002, the second WCDMA network was launched in Japan by Vodafone KK (now Softbank). In March the first European launches of 3G were in Italy and the UK by the Three/Hutchison group, on WCDMA. 2003 saw a further 8 commercial launches of 3G, six more on WCDMA and two more on the EV-DO standard.

During the development of 3G systems, 2.5G systems such as CDMA2000 1x and GPRS were developed as extensions to existing 2G networks. These provide some of the features of 3G without fulfilling the promised high data rates or full range of multimedia services. CDMA2000-1X delivers theoretical maximum data speeds of up to 307 kbit/s. Just beyond these is the EDGE system which in theory covers the requirements for 3G system, but is so narrowly above these that any practical system would be sure to fall short.

By the end of 2007 there were 295 Million subscribers on 3G networks worldwide, which reflected 9% of the total worldwide subscriber base. About two thirds of these are on the WCDMA standard and one third on the EV-DO standard. The 3G telecoms services generated over 120 Billion dollars of revenues during 2007 and at many markets the majority of new phones activated were 3G phones. In Japan and South Korea the market no longer supplies phones of the second generation. Earlier in the decade there were doubts about whether 3G might happen, and also whether 3G might become a commercial success. By the end of 2007 it had become clear that 3G was a reality and was clearly on the path to become a profitable venture.

Live streaming of radio and television [http://web.archive.org/web/20060428163109/http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2005/9/20/corpit/12066894&sec=corpit] to 3G handsets is one future direction for the industry, with companies from Real [http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=171000005] and Disney [http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=details&nNewsID=517507] recently announcing services.


* -- "Cellular Mobile Communication System" -- Amos Edward Joel (Bell Labs), filed Dec 21, 1970, issued May 16, 1972
* -- "Radio Telephone System" (Dyna-Tac) -- Martin Cooper et al. (Motorola), filed Oct 17, 1973, issued September 16, 1975
* -- "Cellular Radiotelephone System for Different Cell Sizes" -- Richard H. Frenkiel (Bell Labs), filed Sep 22, 1976, issued March 13, 1979
* -- "Cellular Mobile Radiotelephone System" -- Verne MacDonald, Philip Porter, Rae Young, (Bell Labs) filed April 28, 1980, issued August 16, 1983
* -- "Construction of a stand alone portable telephone unit" -- Jouko Tattari (Nokia), filed May 11, 1992, issued November 23, 1993
* -- "Security cellular telecommunications system" -- Douglas Fougnies et al (Freedom Wireless), filed Dec 1994, issued February 24, 1998
* -- " Cellular phone system wherein the air time use is predetermined " -- Andrew Wise et al (Banana Communications), filed November 1994, issued October 20, 1998
* -- "Hands-free telephone set" -- Yoshiyuki Ide (NEC), filed May 21, 1997, issued November 24, 1998

ee also

*Mobile phone

*Personal Communications Service PCS



*cite journal |last= Farley|first= Tom|authorlink= |year= 2007|month= |title= The Cell-Phone Revolution|journal= American heritage of invention & technology|volume= 22|issue= 3|pages= 8–19|issn=8756-7296|oclc=108126426|id= BL Shelfmark 0817.734000| publisher = American Heritage| location = New York|url= http://www.americanheritage.com/events/articles/web/20070110-cell-phone-att-mobile-phone-motorola-federal-communications-commission-cdma-tdma-gsm.shtml |accessdate= 2008-04-21 |quote=

External links

* [http://www.privateline.com/archive/Ringcellreport1947.pdf 1947 memo by Douglas H. Ring proposing hexagonal cells]
* [http://www.ieee.org/portal/cms_docs_iportals/iportals/aboutus/history_center/oral_history/pdfs/Engel366.pdf Interview of Joel Engel]
* [http://www.ieee.org/portal/cms_docs_iportals/iportals/aboutus/history_center/oral_history/pdfs/Joel137.pdf Interview of Amos Joel]
* [http://www.sri.com/policy/csted/reports/sandt/techin2/chp4.html The history of cellular telephones in the US]
* [http://www.oldmobil.hu/en Mobile Phone Museum from Europe]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20070710014534/http://www.mobileforum.com/ Mobile Forum]
* [http://www.thecellularforums.com/ Mobile Phone Forum]
* [http://www.privateline.com/mt_cellbasics/ Cell Phone Basics]
* [http://techbiz.blog.com/1812247/ Cellular Convergence: Evolution, Revolution and Speculation]
* [http://shopibel.com/shopping/next-generation-phones Thoughts about next generation phones: end-user applications matter, open systems, phones based on GNU/Linux, phones serving as desktop computers. Original draft designs of phones]

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