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The history of... Cell Phones

 
In today's world, most people communicate through the use cellular phones. It's hard to believe that fifteen years ago cell phones were a rarity. Below is a history chronicling the dawn of the cell phone to its current state.
 
1843 - A skilled analytical chemist by the name of Michael Faraday began exhaustive research into whether space could conduct electricity. Faraday exposed his great advances of nineteenth-century science and technology and his discoveries have had an incalculable effect on technical development toward cellular phone development.
 
1865 - Dr. Mahlon Loomis of Virginia, a dentist, may have been the first person to communicate through wireless via the atmosphere. Between 1866 and 1873 he transmitted telegraphic messages at a distance of 18 miles between the tops of Cohocton and Beorse Deer Mountains, Virginia. He developed a method of transmitting and receiving messages by using the Earth's atmosphere as a conductor and launching kites enclosed with a copper screens that were linked to the ground with copper wires. Congress then awarded Loomis a $50,000 research grant.
 
1973 - Dr Martin Cooper, is considered the inventor of the first portable handset. Dr. Cooper, former general manager for the systems division at Motorola, and the first person to make a call on a portable cellular phone.
 
1973 - Dr. Cooper set up a base station in New York with the first working prototype of a cellular telephone, the Motorola Dyna-Tac. Mr. Cooper and Motorola took the phone technology to New York to show the public.
 
1977 - Cell phones go public. Public cell phone testing began. The city of Chicago was where the first trials began with 2000 customers, and eventually other cell phone trials appeared in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore area. Japan began testing cellular phone service in 1979.
 
1988 - this year changed many of the technologies that had become typical in the past. The Cellular Technology Industry Association (CTIA) was developed to lay down practical goals for cellular phone providers. This included research for new applications for cell phone development. A new standard was placed with the creation of the TDMA Interim Standard 54, in 1991 by the Telecommunications Industry Association.
 
In spite of the unbelievable demand, it took cellular phone service 37 years total to become commercially accessible in the US. According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, today there are more than 60 million customers with cellular phones, even though wireless service was just invented nearly 50 years ago. The cellular business was a $3 million market 25 years ago and has grown increasingly to close to a $30 billion per year industry.
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On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper made the first cellular phone call.

 

 

last reviewed/updated on 09/20/04 



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