The Birth of the Mobile Phone

By: Maria Literral
These days, everybody has a mobile phone. Whether they are on a contract or a pay as you go tariff, the mobile phone has become an essential item for many people. This article will look at the history of the mobile phone - as well as its future - in order to tell you a little more about the now-essential telecommunications device.

Mobile phones started life when several mobile radio users, known as the mobileers, popularised the use of mobile phone technology. Mobile telephones were initially installed in vehicles permanently, although more sophisticated versions of them, that were called transportables, could also be carried, which meant that they could be used as a mobile or as portable two-way radio. During the early 1940s, Motorola developed a two-way radio in a backpack, the walkie talkie, and this was generally regarded as one of the first mobiles.

The very earliest mobile phones were dubbed first generation phones, also referred to as 1G. The 1-G reign lasted from the late seventies through to the eighties. These items were the first real mobile phones, although they were then named cellular mobile radio telephones, & were based on analogue signalling. The analogue signal was the main difference between these first generation mobile phones & their second-generation cousins, which came out a few years later.

Second generation, also known as 2G mobile telephones were introduced in the nineties. 2G telephone systems were characterised by their use of digital circuit switched transmission and the introduction of advanced and fast telephone to network signalling.

The birth of 2G systems saw telephones move from historic 1-G telephones to small hand held items, which were much more portable. This change was possible through technological developments, including more advanced batteries and energy saving electronics.

The second-generation mobile telephones had a number of advantages over 1-G devices. These included text messaging, which initially became possible on GSM networks and was later available on most digital networks. The very earliest machine-sent message was sent in the UK in 1991, while the very earliest person to person SMS message was sent in Finland in 1993. SMS text messaging soon became the preferred method of communication and the general public now prefer sending messages to making regular voice calls.

Following 2-G mobile telephones, 3G mobile telephone technologies arrived. 3G is the term given to the third generation of mobile telephone standards & technology. 3G technologies permit network operators such as 02 & 3 to offer their clients a larger range of advanced services, including video calls, & broadband wireless internet.

The very earliest 3G network was launched by NTT DoCoMo in Japan in May 2001. It was launched commercially in Japan on October 1 2001. The very earliest European pre commercial 3G network was launched on the Isle of Man by Manx Telecom, who are owned by BT, in December 2001.

4-G technology will give mobile phones a new lease of life, potentially offering the live streaming of TV & radio shows and much more besides. For mobile phones, it appears that the sky is the limit.
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