The History Of Cell Phones
The high tech, elaborate cell phones that many people use in the modern world are a far cry from the first mobile phones. Yet if it was not for these earlier versions of mobile communication devices, we would not have the option of cell phones and the many phone feature that we take for granted.
The development of talking on radio waves started with Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian inventor who began working with Thomas Edison in 1886. On December 23, 1900, Fessenden successively transmitted speech approximately 1.6 kilometers, the very first audio radio transmission. By December 21, 1906, the inventor successfully demonstrated his new alternator transmitter, showing its utility for point-to point wireless telephony. He also demonstrated his interconnection of his stations to the wire telephone network. Fessenden made the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission in this same year.
Soon after Fessenden’s demonstrations, the first wireless phone was patented in 1908. The patent was given to Nathan B. Stubblefield of Murray, Kentucky who was an inventor as well as the founder of Teleph-on-delgreen Industrial School. He applied the patent to a “cave radio” telephone which was a more primitive design of wireless telephones.
During World War II, radio telephony grew in popularity as the choice of communication in the military. Towards the end of the war in 1945, the zero generation of mobile phones were introduced. These phones worked off a single, powerful base station and covered a wide area. They operated by monopolizing one channel in that particular area while the phones were in use. In 1947, Bell Lab engineers at AT&T invented the first cells for mobile phone base stations and continued to develop these cells well into the 1960s.
On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, who was a researcher and executive at Motorola made the first call on a handheld mobile phone. Sixteen years later, on May 1, 1979, a United States patent was given to Charles A. Gladden and Martin H. Parelman, both of Las Vegas, Nevada. If you carefully read the patent, these two inventors were beginning to combine all the elements that led to the next development in radio telephony, the Analog Cellular Telephone. In that same year, NTT of Japan launched the first commercial citywide cellular network.
In 1983, the Motorola DynaTAC was the first approved mobile phone by the FCC. In, 1984, basing their work on the 1979 patent of Gladden and Parelman, Bell Labs developed the modern cellular technology that involves the utility of cell sites, each providing service to an individual cell. At this same time, fully automated cellular networks were introduced.
In 1991, the first modern network technology was introduced by Radiolinja in Finland, leading to the Nordic Mobile Telephone system going online. This was the first instance of competition between cell phone providers as this company set itself up against Telecom Finland. This development also led to an increase in mobile phone usage in northern Europe.
As the years have passed, cell phone companies have become booming businesses as the demand for these devices continues to increase at an astronomical rate. If not for the efforts of the early inventors and engineers, this technology would have not been possible. We as a society on the whole owe these men and women our thanks.
November 22, 2020
November 22, 2020