Cellphones: Where it Began

Today, we are going to talk about the history of cellphones. Cellphones have originated first in 1910, created by Lars Magnus Ericsson where he installed a telephone in his car. Whenever he sees a place where phone lines are accessible, he would connect them using a pair of long electric wires. But phone had gone through a long phase of development before it became to what we have known today. Let’s talk more about that down below.

  • 1946
  • Soviet Engineers Shapiro and Zaharchenko installed a mobile phone in a car and succeeded. It has a feature that can connect to a local telephone network that’s about 20 kilometers in range. One year later, Douglas H. Ring and W. Rae Young proposed a revolutionary hexagonal cell to be installed on car mobile phones via a three-directional antenna that can receive signals. But this kind of technology still didn’t exist at that time.

  • 1956
  • In this year, the Mobile Telephone System A (MTA) was released by Ericsson. It is a fully automatic mobile phone system that requires manual control to operate. The only downside of it is its weight that bears 40 kilograms, which is kind of heavy for regular usage.

  • 1957
  • Soviet radio engineer Leonid Kupriyanovich followed Ericsson’s footsteps and created the portable mobile phone. This is where the “radiophone” was born. This phone is equipped with an antenna and a rotary dial that can connect to base stations with the ability to connect to a local telephone network. The best part? The phone only weighs 3 kilograms and could operate for up to 30 kilometers. It also has an insane 30 hours of battery life which is a big deal during that time.

  • 1958
  • The following year, Kupriyanovich released a “pocket” version of his radiophone. This time, the phone weighed about 500 grams with improved features from its predecessor. Also during this time, Russia continued to develop mobile phone systems that can connect to base stations which could cater up to six customers. The only problem with this is that calls will be interrupted when the phone went through several base stations. The only possible solution for this is that the user will stay on that specific base to get a smooth call.

  • 1965
  • Remember the MTA phone in 1956? It got a newer version with MTB transistors and DTMF signaling. This time the phone only weighed 9 kilograms, a huge leap from the 40-kilogram one on the original.

  • 1970
  • The signal problem in 1958 is addressed in this year, where Amos E. Joel Jr. invented an automatic “call handoff” system. The function of this system is to give mobile phones the freedom to move into several cell areas without their calls being interrupted.

  • 1973
  • First generation networks were released in this era. It started with the Motorola DynaTAC which was released in April 1973.

  • 1990
  • In this era, the second generation network (2G) phones started to emerge. As well as GSM, CDMA, and iDEN.

Today, 3G then followed with a much faster EDGE and GRPS features as 2G phones have been phased out in the phone industry. Although some still use 2G networks, but they are reserved for basic phones for calls and texts only. Smartphones have been the staple of the tech industry today where they use 3G and 4G networks as a means of communication. There are also companies who have built 5G chips to be used for the future smartphone generation to come.

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