The Revolutionary Cell Phone

By: Michelle Bery

With the advent of the cell phone came a revolutionary way for us to communicate. No longer were we confined to homes to make or receive a phone call. Now, with a phone in our pocket, we were able to communicate on the go; the cell phone took our lifestyle into account and gave us the mobility we so desperately needed.

As with many modern inventions, no one really took notice of the cell phone until it was streamlined and affordable for the masses. But the cell phone really had its beginnings in the early 1970s, as researchers searched for a way to make the mobile car phone a more effective and efficient unit. At that time, they felt that by limiting the service area of the mobile phone to a small group of "cells" they could improve the effectiveness and clarity of the phone.

In effect, the cell phone sends out and receives broadcast airwaves and subsequently falls under the auspices of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). So it was not until AT&T and Bell Labs proposed the cell phone concept to the FCC in the late 1970s that things really began to progress; these two companies outlined the use of a system of small broadcast towers - each tower would be responsible for its own geographic location or "cell." And as users traveled with their cell phone they would move from one cell to the next - their service never interrupted and their conversation always clear.

By the 1980s, the cell phone was being used by a small population of the public - although in its fundamental form. The technology was new, the phones heavy and inconvenient to carry, and the service and phone extremely expensive. It was not surprising, therefore, that not many people were impressed enough with the cell phone to pay the high prices.

But as technology advanced, and the cell phone came down in weight and price, more and more people took the streets with cell phone in hand. Today's compact and streamlined cell phone offers a bevy of services - from phone and camera to calendar and music - and is a vital accessory for most everyone. Whether conducting business or communicating at a moment's notice with friends and family - the cell phone has elevated communication to the next level.

Of course, this constant communication and advanced technology comes at a price; mainly of our time and privacy. When we're available and on-call at all times, there allows no room for relaxation and downtime. The people who use the cell phone as a convenience without being tied to it are those who are able to maintain balance in their lives. Having a cell phone does not mean that you can't turn it off now and then.

Ultimately, the cell phone was meant to offer convenience to the masses. What we do with that convenience is up to us. As the cell phone continues to evolve, it will surely bring with it a whole new world of communication - the likes of which we can only imagine.

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