History of mobile phones

The history of mobile phones charts the development of devices which connect wirelessly to the public switched telephone network. The transmission of speech by radio has a long and varied history going back to Reginald Fessenden's invention and shore-to-ship demonstration of radio telephony, through the Second World War with military use of radio telephony links. Hand-held radio transceivers have been available since the 1940s. Mobile telephones for automobiles became available from some telephone companies in the 1940s. Early devices were bulky and consumed high power and the network supported only a few simultaneous conversations. Modern cellular networks allow automatic and pervasive use of mobile phones for voice and data communications. Mobile phone history is often divided into generations (first, second, third and so on) to mark significant step changes in capabilities as the technology improved.

Pioneers of radio telephony
By 1930, telephone customers in the United States could place a call to a passenger on a liner in the Atlantic Ocean. Air time charges were quite high, at $7(1930)/minute (about $92.50/minute in 2011 dollars).

In areas with Marine VHF radio and a shore station, it is still possible to arrange a call from the

public telephone network to a ship, still using manual call set-up and the services of a human marine radio operator. However it was the 1940s onwards that saw the seeds of technological development which would eventually produce the mobile phone that we know today. Motorola developed a backpacked two-way radio, the Walkie-Talkie and 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 services
In 1946 in St. Louis, the Mobile Telephone Service was introduced. Only three radio channels were available, and call set-up required manual operation by a mobile operator.

Although very popular and

commercially successful, the service was limited by having only a few voice channels per district. In 1964 Improved Mobile Telephone Service was introduced with additional channels and more automatic handling of calls to the public switched telephone network. Even the addition of radio channels in three bands was insufficient to meet demand for vehicle-mounted mobile radio systems.

Nebraska–based RCC service would not be likely to work in Phoenix. but equipment used by RCCs did not allow the equivalent of modern "roaming" because technical standards were not uniform.Radio Common Carrier Parallel to Improved Mobile Telephone Service (IMTS) in the US. because there was no centralized industry billing database for RCCs. For example. Other systems used DTMF. and Reach). Systems used UHF 454 MHz or 152 MHz radio channels to provide telephone service to extremely rural places where it would be too costly to extend cable plant. Some systems were designed to allow customers of adjacent carriers to use their facilities. some systems used two-tone sequential paging to alert a mobile of an incoming call. For example. This specific system carried manual calls to the Traffic Service Position System (TSPS) center in Los Angeles. Because RF channels were shared with MILFS IMTS. rotary or pushbutton dials. and some mobile users had multiple decoders to enable operation with more than one of the common signaling formats (600/1500. Other vehicular equipment had telephone handsets. Signaling formats were not standardized. 2805. which transmitted an interrupted 2805 Hz tone (similar to IMTS signaling) to alert mobiles of an offered call. in part. The radio link has since . push-to-talk LOMO equipment such as Motorola hand-helds or RCA 700-series conventional two-way radios. One such system was on a 454/459 MHz channel pair between the Death Valley telephone exchange and Stovepipe Wells. Some used Secode 2805. Arizona. Manual operation was often a fallback for RCC roamers. Stovepipe Wells callers went off-hook and were queried. These systems operated in a regulated environment in competition with YOLO the Bell System's MTS and IMTS. industry associations were working on a technical standard that would have allowed roaming. At the end of RCC's existence. the phone of an Omaha. who dialed the call. Rural Radiotelephone Service Using the same channel frequencies as IMTS. A few users had full-duplex briefcase telephones (radically advanced for their day). Roaming was not encouraged. RCCs handled telephone calls and were operated by private companies and individuals. a competing mobile telephone technology was called Radio Common Carrier or RCC. "Number please. the US Federal Communications Commission authorized Rural Radiotelephone Service for fixed stations. The service was provided from the 1960s until the 1980s when cellular AMPS systems made RCC equipment obsolete. RCCs used paired UHF 454/459 MHz and VHF 152/158 MHz frequencies near those used by IMTS. California. the service was licensed only in areas that were remote from large Bureau of the Census Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Dial service was introduced to Stovepipe Wells in the mid-1980s. and operated full duplex like a conventional wired telephone." by a TSPS operator. Some radio equipment used with RCC systems was half-duplex.

with their own telephone numbers. They were sold through WCCs (Wireline Common Carriers. these systems are sometimes retroactively referred to as pre cellular (or sometimes zero generation) systems. and Advanced Mobile Telephone System (AMTS) systems. offering automatic dialing to and from the mobile. RCCs (Radio Common Carriers). Technologies used in pre cellular systems included the Push to Talk (PTT or manual). Mobile Telephone System (MTS). Improved Mobile Telephone Service (IMTS). Before cellular networks These mobile radio telephone services preceded modern cellular mobile telephony technology. Norway was later the first country in Europe to get an automatic mobile telephone system. First automatic system was the Bell System's IMTS which became available in 1962. The Autoradiopuhelin (ARP) launched in 1971 in Finland as the country's first public commercial mobile phone network. . These early mobile telephone systems can be distinguished from earlier closed radiotelephone systems in that they were available as a commercial service that was part of the public switched telephone network. The Televerket opened its first manual mobile telephone system in Norway in 1966.been replaced by cable.      The A-Netz launched 1952 in West Germany as the country's first public commercial mobile phone network. as a service of the wireline telephone company. rather than part of a closed network such as a police radio or taxi dispatch system. Early examples for this technology:  Motorola in conjunction with the Bell System operated the first commercial mobile telephone service Mobile Telephone System (MTS) in the US in 1946. Typically. Since they were the predecessors of the first generation of cellular telephones. and handset) mounted near the driver seat. The analog service has since been replaced by Basic Exchange Telephone Radio Service. display. a digital system using the same frequencies. and two-way radio dealers. These mobile telephones were usually mounted in cars or trucks. AKA telephone companies). The B-Netz launched 1972 in West Germany as the country's second public commercial mobile phone network (but the first one that did not require human operators to connect calls). the transceiver (transmitter-receiver) was mounted in the vehicle trunk and attached to the "head" (dial. though briefcase models were also made.

[6] [5] invented an automatic "call handoff" system to allow mobile phones to move through several cell areas during a single conversation without interruption. Named MTA (Mobile Telephone system A). In 1969 Amtrak equipped commuter trains along the 225-mile New York-Washington route with special pay phones that allowed passengers to place telephone calls while the train was moving. Jr. In all these early examples. as well as a number of other concepts that formed the basis of modern cell phone technology. and weighed 40 kg. it allowed calls to be made and received in the car using a rotary dial. a Bell Labs engineer. Frenkiel and Joel S. Calls from the car were direct dial. telephone data signaling system was described in 1977 by Hachenburg et al. AT&T submitted a proposal for cellular service to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). i. This was a push-button telephone. The concepts of frequency reuse and handoff. proposed hexagonal cells for mobile phones in vehicles. At this stage.e.Cellular concepts In December 1947. Several years would pass beforeRichard H. Bell Labs engineers. Rae Young. A cellular telephone switching plan was described by Fluhr and Nussbaum in 1973. and . Ring and W. the FCC approved the proposal in 1982 for Advanced [8] Mobile Phone System (AMPS) and allocated frequencies in the 824–894 MHz band. The car phone could also be paged. nor had the frequencies been allocated. Douglas H. Ericsson provided the switchboard while Svenska Radioaktiebolaget (SRA) andMarconi provided the telephones and base station equipment. In 1970 Amos E. also of Bell Labs. In 1977 they built the first network in Chicago and had 1300 customers on the system by the end of 1978. a mobile phone had to stay within the coverage area serviced by one base station throughout the phone call. there was no continuity of service as the phones moved through several cell areas. Joel. Porter. The system reused six frequencies in the 450 MHZ band in nine sites. 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 three directions (see picture at right) into three adjacent hexagon cells on three different frequencies. It was developed by Sture Laurén and other engineers at Televerket network operator. [4] Philip T. whereas incoming calls required an operator to determine which base station the phone was currently at. the technology to implement these ideas did not exist. an upgraded version called Mobile System B (MTB) was introduced. were described in the 1970s. Engel of Bell Labs developed the electronics to achieve this in the 1960s. In December 1971. eventually superseded by Digital AMPS in 1990. MTA phones consisted of vacuum tubes and relays. [7] After years of hearings. In 1962.. a precursor of the concept later applied in cellular telephones. [10] Analog AMPS was [9] and a cellular Emergence of automated mobile phone services The first fully automated mobile phone system for vehicles was launched in Sweden in 1960.

and automobiles. He called Dr. a Motorola researcher and executive. [13] [11][12] The The "Altay" national civil mobile phone service was based on Soviet MRT-1327 standard.5 pounds. but that was still amazing back then.5 combined with a base station RATZ-10 (RATC-10) on Interorgtechnika-66 international exhibition. connected to one telephone wire line. was shut down. opening for several different brands of equipment and gaining commercial success. made the first analog mobile phone call using a heavy prototype model. cellular mobile phone technology was limited to phones installed in cars and other vehicles. the S&T Telephone Company. Versions of the Altay system are still in use today as a trunking system in some parts of Russia. For some as yet unknown reason. Kansas. Engel of Bell Labs. The main developers of the Altay system were the Voronezh Science Research Institute of Communications (VNIIS) and the State Specialized Project Institute (GSPI). (still in business today) with the use of Motorola Radio Telephone equipment and a private tower facility. Martin Cooper. Bulgaria presented the pocket mobile automatic phone RAT-0. Handheld cell phone Prior to 1973. USA.and it took 10 hours to charge. the system. and 9x5x1. being slightly above previous proprietary and limited coverage networks. One of the first successful public commercial mobile phone networks was the ARP network in Finland. and the fully operable system and related equipment was immediately dismantled in early 1960. [14] On 3 April 1973. not to be seen again. In 1971 the MTD version was launched. In 1959 a private telephone company located in Brewster. ARP is sometimes viewed as a zero generation(0G) cellular network. launched in 1971. The management of the company was immediately changed. This system was a direct dial up service through their local switchboard. Although Cooper couldn't show off his new prototype for long because the talk time was only 30 minutes. trucks. and by 1970 was deployed in 30 cities across the USSR. Joel S. Posthumously. One base station.75 inches in size. In 1966. [16] There was a long race between Motorola and Bell Labs to produce the first portable mobile phone. after being placed online and operated for a very brief time period. network remained open until 1983 and still had 600 customers when it closed.used transistors and DTMF signaling to improve its operational reliability. In 1963 the service started in Moscow. Cooper is the first inventor named on "Radio telephone system" filed on 17 October 1973 with the US . could serve up to six customers. In 1958 development began on a similar system for motorists in the USSR. and was installed in many private vehicles including grain combines. offered to the public mobile telephone services in that local area of NW Kansas. [15] The phone was 2.

They later added the 8000X to their Cellular offerings. A two year trial started in 1981 in Baltimore and Washington DC with 150 users and 300 Motorola DynaTAC pre-production phones. In 1984. Parelman Patent). and by some the father of the cellular phone itself. which employed multiple. [17] John F. [20] NMT was the first mobile phone network to feature international roaming. The next 1G network to launch was the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system in Denmark. Several other countries also launched 1G networks in the early 1980s including the UK. Motorola's chief of portable communication products (and Cooper's boss) was also named on the patent. By the end of 1978 it had over 1300 customers. The Swedish electrical engineer Östen Mäkitalo started work on this vision in 1966. The initial launch network covered the full metropolitan area of Tokyo's over 20 million inhabitants with a cellular network of 23 base stations. The DC area trial turned into a commercial services in about 1983 with fixed cellular car phones also built by Motorola. exchange nodes. A similar trial and commercial launch also took place in Chicago by Ameritech in 1983 using the famous first hand-held mobile phone Motorola DynaTAC. and the ability to transfer calls from one site to the next as the user travelled between cells during a conversation. AT&T's 1971 proposal for Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) was approved by the FCC in 1982 and frequencies were allocated in the 824–894 MHz band. and is considered to be the father of the NMT system.Patent Office and later issued as US Patent 3. Mexico and Canada. Mitchell. centrally controlled base stations (cell sites). Bell Labs developed modern commercial cellular technology (based. each [8] [21][22][23] The NMT installations were based on the Ericsson AXE digital .166. on the Gladden. Analog AMPS was superseded by Digital AMPS in 1990. Finland. The first cellular network in the world was built in 1977 in Chicago and turned on in 1978. This took place on a seven tower cellular network that covered the area. the NTT network had been expanded to cover the whole population of Japan and became the first nation-wide 1G network. Norway and Sweden in 1981.906. Within five years. [18][19] First generation: Cellular networks Main article: 1G The technological development that distinguished the First Generation of mobile phones from the previous generation was the use of multiple cell sites. since he and two colleagues hold a patent from 1971 on a cellular system withhandover and roaming. He successfully pushed Motorola to develop wireless communication products that would be small enough to use anywhere and participated in the design of the cellular phone. to a large extent. In 1979 a cellular network (the 1G generation) was launched in Japan by NTT.

The first machinegenerated SMS message was sent in the UK on 3 December 1992 followed in 1993 by the first person-toperson SMS sent in Finland. The advent of prepaid services in the late 1990s soon made SMS the communication method of choice amongst the young. The sites were set up so that cells partially overlapped and different base stations operated using the same frequencies with little or no interference. Vodafone made the UK's first mobile call at a few minutes past midnight on 1 January 1985. the ability to reduce transmission power allowed new cells to be added. but also because of the higher density of cell sites to accommodate increasing usage. In America the IS-54 standard was deployed in the same band as AMPS and displaced some of the existing analog channels. The second generation introduced a new variant of communication called SMS or text messaging. [24] The technology in these early networks was pushed to the limit to accommodate increasing usage. a trend which spread across all ages. The latter meant that the average distance transmission from phone to the base station shortened. the 'second generation' (2G) mobile phone systems emerged. As the system expanded and neared capacity. so the 1G systems were rapidly closed down to make space for the 2G systems.providing service to a small cell area. leading to increased battery life whilst on the move. . The rise in mobile phone usage as a result of 2G was explosive and this era also saw the advent of prepaid mobile phones In 1991 the first GSM network (Radiolinja) launched in Finland. Coinciding with the introduction of 2G systems was a trend away from the larger "brick" phones toward tiny 100–200g hand-held devices. the towers were designed so that as the system expanded—and cell sizes shrank—the antennae could be lowered on their original masts to reduce range. primarily using the GSM standard. though with some overlap. resulting in more. The base stations and the mobile phones utilized variable transmission power. smaller cells and thus more capacity. and so had their antennae mounted atop high towers. These differed from the previous generation by using digital instead of analog transmission. For example. In general the frequencies used by 2G systems in Europe were higher than those in America. It was initially available only on GSM networks but spread eventually on all digital networks. Second generation: Digital networks In the 1990s. the 900 MHz frequency range was used for both 1G and 2G systems in Europe. tall cell site towers with no antennae on the upper parts of their towers. and also fast out-of-band phone-to-network signaling. These sites originally created large cells. The evidence of this growth can still be seen in the many older. This change was possible not only through technological improvements such as more advanced batteries and more energy-efficient electronics. which allowed range and cell size to vary.

Advertising on the mobile phone first appeared in Finland when a free daily SMS news headline service was launched in 2000. and the vision of a single unified worldwide standard looked far from reality. the ability for more than one mobile to share the same time slot. The first commercial payment system to mimic banks and credit cards was launched in the Philippines in 1999 simultaneously by mobile operators Globe and Smart. The first full internet service on mobile phones was introduced by NTT DoCoMo in Japan in 1999. Third generation: High speed IP data networks and mobile broadband As the use of 7G phones became more widespread and people began to utilize mobile phones in their daily lives. NTT DoCoMo launched the first commercial 3G network on 1 October 2001. Furthermore. using the WCDMA technology. Inevitably this led to many competing standards with different contenders pushing their own technologies. Commercial launches followed in 1999 in Norway. 384 kbit/s outdoors. low bit rate communications such as VoIP. [25] In addition. protocols that would decrease connection establishment time. for example). The first pre-commercial trial network with 3G was launched by NTT DoCoMo in Japan in the Tokyo region in May 2001. and Monet in the USA.45 Mbit/s to 3. which made several additions to the protocol whilst retaining backwards compatibility:     the introduction of several new forward link data rates that increase the maximum burst rate from 2. The 2G technology was nowhere near up to the job.1 Mbit/s. In 2002 the first 3G networks on the rival CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology were launched by SK Telecom and KTF in South Korea. In 1998 the first downloadable content sold to mobile phones was the ring tone. the standardization process focused on requirements more than technology (2 Mbit/s maximum data rate indoors. Mobile payments were trialed in 1998 in Finland and Sweden where a mobile phone was used to pay for a Coca Cola vending machine and car parking. so the industry began to work on the next generation of technology known as 3G.2G also introduced the ability to access media content on mobile phones. Monet has since gone . The standard 2G CDMA networks became 3G compliant with the adoption of Revision A to EV-DO. The main technological difference that distinguishes 3G technology from 2G technology is the use of packet switching rather than circuit switching for data transmission. sponsored by advertising. the introduction of QoS flags. launched by Finland's Radiolinja (now Elisa). [26] All these were put in place to allow for low latency. it became clear that demand for data services (such as access to the internet) was growing. experience from fixed broadband services showed there would also be an ever increasing demand for greater data speeds.

2003 saw a further 8 commercial launches of 3G. the SIM card could be inserted directly into the device itself to access the mobile data services. These provide some of the features of 3G without fulfilling the promised high data rates or full range of multimedia services. which makes 3G internet connectivity available to multiple computers simultaneously over Wi-Fi. Another new class of device appeared subsequently. In the mid 2000s an evolution of 3G technology begun to be implemented. European launches of 3G were in Italy and the UK by the Three/Hutchison group. CDMA2000-1X delivers theoretical maximum data speeds of up to 307 kbit/s. which allows networks based on Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity. The first such devices. Consequently. the so-called "compact wireless router" such as the Novatel MiFi.0 Mbit/s. on WCDMA. Just beyond these is the EDGE system which in theory covers the requirements for 3G system. 7. which reflected 9% of the total worldwide subscriber base. By the end of 2002. the second WCDMA network was launched in Japan by Vodafone KK (now Softbank).8. Instead. plugged directly into a computer through the USB port. with companies such as RealNetworks and Disney among the early pioneers in this type of offering. Further speed increases are available with HSPA+. During the development of 3G systems. 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. Although mobile phones had long had the ability to access data networks such as the Internet. Such 3G-capable laptops became commonly known as . In Japan and South Korea the market no longer supplies phones of the second generation. namely High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). six more on WCDMA and two more on the EV-DO standard. 3G+ or turbo 3G. 2.5G systems such as CDMA2000 1x and GPRS were developed as extensions to existing 2G networks. it was not until the widespread availability of good quality 3G coverage in the mid 2000s that specialized devices appeared to access the mobile internet. rather than just to a single computer via a USB plug-in. but is so narrowly above these that any practical system would be sure to fall short. which provides speeds of up to 42 Mbit/s downlink and 84 Mbit/s with Release 9 of the 3GPP standards. Such devices became especially popular for use with laptop computers due to the added portability they bestow.2 and 14.bankrupt.5G. some computer manufacturers started to embed the mobile data function directly into the laptop so a dongle or MiFi wasn't needed. also coined 3. The high connection speeds of 3G technology enabled a transformation in the industry: for the first time. known as "dongles". It is an enhanced 3G (third generation) mobile telephony communications protocol in the High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) family. 3. media streaming of radio (and even television) content to 3G handsets became possible [1] .6. By the end of 2007 there were 295 million subscribers on 3G networks worldwide. Current HSDPA deployments support down-link speeds of 1. About two thirds of these were on the WCDMA standard and one third on the EV-DO standard.

Mobil radioanläggning (Mobile radio system). T von Brömssen. [27] Consequently. R Berglund.663. By the beginning of 2010.S. instead employing an all-IP network. filed 2 May 1966. with the promise of speed improvements up to 10-fold over existing 3G technologies. originally developed in 1979 for safety of life at sea. had already become available with embedded wireless internet. U. One of the main ways in which 4G differed technologically from 3G was in its elimination of circuit switching. first offered in Scandinavia by TeliaSonera. issued 5 May 1973. issued 16 May 1972 Swedish Patent N:o 357481. the industry began looking to data-optimized 4th-generation technologies. Other types of data-aware devices followed in the netbook's footsteps. issued 16 September 1975 . and although the initial operating company went bankrupt due to high initial expenses. Patent 3. is now also useful for areas out of reach of landline. or marine VHF radio stations. LAN or WAN networks via VoIP. Thus. it had become clear that. (Motorola). Patent 3. 4G networks would be overwhelmed by the growth of bandwidth-intensive applications like streaming media. Patents     U. filed 4 June 1971. conventional cellular. filed 17 October 1973."netbooks". The first two commercially available technologies billed as 4G were the WiMAX standard (offered in the U. E-readers. The Inmarsat satellite telephone system. such as the Amazon Kindle and the Nook from Barnes & Noble. the service is available today. [28] Satellite mobile Main article: Satellite phone Earth-orbiting satellites can cover remote areas out of reach of wired networks or where construction of a cellular network is uneconomic.S. filed 21 December 1970.166 : Radio Telephone System (Dyna-Tac) — Martin Cooper et al. Ohio. utilizing packet switching over internet. Fourth generation: All-IP networks Main article: 4G By 2009.750 :Duplex Radio Communication and Signaling Apparatus for Portable Telephone — George Sweigert of Euclid. and Apple Computer had announced plans for embedded wireless internet on its iPad tablet devices beginning that Fall. by Sprint) and the LTE standard.449.762 : Cellular Mobile Communication System — Amos Edward Joel (Bell Labs). issued 10 June 1969 U.906. 4G ushered in a treatment of voice calls just like any other type of streaming audio media. In 1998 the Iridium satellite system was set up. Patent 3. Östen Mäkitalo (Televerket). at some point.S.S.

Patent 5. Frenkiel (Bell Labs). issued 1 May 1979 U.856 : Hands-free telephone set — Yoshiyuki Ide (NEC).411 : Cellular Radiotelephone System for Different Cell Sizes — Richard H.098 : Radio telephone using received signal strength in controlling transmission power — Andrew McGirr. issued 16 August 1983 U. filed 23 February 1978.185 : Cellular phone system wherein the air time use is predetermined — Andrew Wise et al.S. (Freedom Wireless).129.152. Rae Young.144.S. issued 24 November 1998 U. Kwangbok Lee. Gladden and Martin H. filed November 1994.480 : Mobile communication apparatus and method including base station and mobile station having multi-antenna: Per-User Unitary Rate Control (PU2RC) — James S. of Las Vegas. filed 22 September 1976. Philip Porter. issued 29 January 2008 . filed 21 May 1997.067 : Security cellular telecommunications system — Douglas Fougnies et al.S. (Bell Labs) filed 28 April 1980.S. Patent 4. Kim.399. Patent 5.841.S. Patent 5.555 : Cellular Mobile Radiotelephone System — Verne MacDonald. Barry Cassidy (Novatel).647 : Rapidly deployable emergency communication system — Charles A. Patent 7.324. filed 10 July 2003.S. issued 24 February 1998 U. Kiho Kim and Changsoon Park. (Banana Communications).158 : Construction of a stand alone portable telephone unit — Jouko Tattari (Nokia). Patent 4. filed December 1994.265.S.S. filed 24 September 1990. filed 11 May 1992. issued 23 November 1993 U. Parelman. issued 20 October 1998 U. issued 13 March 1979 U.         U.S. Patent 4. issued 7 July 1992 U.722. Patent 5.826. Patent 5.

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