is a dedicated RF (radio
frequency) device that allows the pager user to receive
messages broadcast on a specific frequency over a special
network of radio base stations.
The first pager-like system was used in 1921 by the Detroit
Police Department. In 1949, the very first telephone pager
device was patented by Al Gross
and used by the Jewish
Hospital in New York starting in 1950. These were not consumer
units. Al Gross' device did not win FCC approval until 1958.
The term "pager" was first used in 1959,
referring to a Motorola radio communications product: a small
receiver that delivered a radio message individually to those
carrying the device. The first consumer pager (as we are
familiar with them today) was Motorola's Pageboy I, introduced
in 1974. It had no display and could not store messages, but
it was portable and notified the wearer that a message had
By 1980, there were 3.2 million pager users worldwide.
Pagers had a limited range, and were used in on-site
situations, i.e. medical workers within a hospital.
By 1990, wide-area paging had been invented and over 22
million pagers were in use. By 1994, there were over 61
million pagers in use and pagers became popular for personal