A Short History of Cell Phones

The history of cellular phones dates back to 1910, it started when Lars Magnus Ericsson travelled throughout the country after installing a phone in his car. Whenever he saw a place with phone lines access, he would connect to them using two long electric wires.

I. Zaharchenko and G. Shapiro were two Soviet engineers who successfully tested a mobile phone installed in a car in 1946; it could connect to a local telephone network with a range of up to 20 kilometers. A year later, two Bell Labs engineers, Douglas H. Ring and W Rae Young suggested hexagonal cells in mobile phones for cars with usage of three-directional antenna for transmitting and receiving signals. However, until 1960s the cellular technology was not developed, when Joel Engel and Richard Frenkiel of Bell Labs built the electronics.

Cell Phones

Science fiction turned into reality

The Mobile Telephone System A or MTA was the first fully automated cellular phone system requiring any type of manual control was developed by renowned company Ericsson and in 1956, sold in Sweden. It was very heavy with a net weight of forty (40) kilograms. In 1965, the model was upgraded to MTB with transistors and DTMF signaling and it only weighed 9 kilograms.

Following the progress of Ericsson, a fresh Soviet radio engineer named Leonid Kupriyanovich invented a handy mobile phone in 1957 and named it as LK-1 or ‘radiophone.’ This was a real mobile phone because it was a comparatively small handset outfitted with a rotating dial and antenna; it could connect with a base station that could further connect to a local telephone network. In addition, his phone weighed only 3 kilograms operating up to 30 kilometers and had a battery life of up to remarkable 30 hours. Kupriyanovich in 1958 resized his ‘radiophone’ to a ‘pocket’ version later which had an improved light weight of about minimum 500 grams.

Continuity of cell phone service

Russia continued with the development of mobile phone systems in 1958 which connected with base stations that could handle up to six customers however the problem with these systems was that the continuity of calls kept on being disrupted when the phone went through several base stations, the caller had to be in an area which was nearest to one base so the call’s signal would not be disrupted.

Another Bell Labs engineer, Amos E. Joel, Jr solved this problem in 1970 when he invented an automatic ‘call handoff’ system that facilitated mobile phones to move through numerous cell areas during a single talk without any loss of conversation.

Cell Phones

Generations of cell phone

The generation of cell phones continued to progress through ages and ARP network was successfully launched in Finland in 1971 and it could be considered as a 0G cellular network. The first generation networks started with the release of the Motorola DynaTAC on April 1973. Soon the second-generation (2G) phones followed suit with GSM, CDMA and iDEN in the 1990s. Later, 3G networks increased their services with faster GPRS and EDGE features. The 2G phones have been gradually phased out of the market. The third-generation phones are now extensive in their use. Live streaming of television and radio is the future of technology.