History Of Cellphone Technology

According the U.N. Telecommunications agency, subscriptions to mobile phone service reached 4.6 billion and expected to increase to 5 billion in 2010. The convenience cellphones offer is beyond compare and many people have opted to cancel landline phones and replace them with cellphones. Cellphones are everywhere, and people of all ages can be found using them. The technology has gone from basic talking to accessing the internet, taking photos and videos, to even scanning barcodes. Cellphones tend to be our lifeline by providing access to the world-wide web, among other exciting things, and most people could not imagine spending a day without one.

How Cellphones Work

The idea of cellular phones started as early as the 1920’s with the use of police radios and in the late 1940’s Bell Labs created a cellphone prototype. It was not until 1973 that a man named Dr. Martin Cooper made the first cellphone that is similar to what is popular in today’s world. How cellphones work is very complex; they work on radio frequencies much like walkie-talkies or CB radios. They have special codes associated with them typically used for phone identification. When a person tries to make a call, the phone communicates with a control channel. If the control channel and cellphone are not within a certain range, the phone call is difficult, if not impossible, to make.

Cellphones Through the Years

The first hand-held cellphones were large, bulky and used in automobiles. They also consumed too much power to be used without the vehicle's engine running. Between 1973 and 1983, several prototypes would be made which allowed people to use phones without their vehicle. These phones came with rubber antennas, twelve keys, and without all the extras that can be found with cellphones today. Cellphones of today have the ability to record and play video, surf the Internet, load photos to social networking websites, and the ability to easily store contact information. The most significant advancement in cellphones is the improvement of the networks. Initially the first cellphones started as 1G networks. Today, cellphones run using a 4G network.

Cellphones Today

As previously mentioned, the first cellphones started by using a 1G analog network. They advanced to 2G digital networks, and in 2001, the 3G network gave cellphones the ability to support mult-media such as internet access, text messaging and sharing videos and photos. Cellphones have come a long way in today's world. Now you can use your smartphone to scan barcodes. A person installs a compatible scanner on the phone. They can then use the camera to read the encoded information. People love things that make life easier. This desire will encourage cellphone manufacturers to continue to improve upon cellphone technology.

  • CBS NewsThis article from CBS news discusses how many people own cellphones throughout the world.
  • History of the Cellphone – This is a cellphone timeline which dates from 1843 to 2001. There are also topics on how they work, a wireless kingdom, and additional links and resources.
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  • 2G-4G Networks – This PDF document discusses the evolution of wireless networks and the fourth generation of cellphones.