The history of the cell phone is closely connected with that of the telephone, radio, and electronic telegraph.
The invention of the cell phone heralded an era of wireless (without the use of wires) communications.
During the 1940s hand held radio transceivers were introduced, and mobile telephones installed in vehicles soon followed.
In those early years, the mobile phones were huge and bulky, took up a lot of energy, and the networks could not support many calls taken at the same time.
Today, technology has improved more than we can imagine, and the mobile phone is able to do much the same (or more) than what a computer may do. We have come to depend on this particular gadget very much.
It is hard to imagine that almost 25 years ago; most people did not know what a cell phone was. Today, the mobile phone industry earns an annual income of almost $30 billion dollars.
Cell phones transmit communication through radio waves. These radio waves spread out the same way that water ripples when you throw a stone in to it.
When these radio waves spread, they hit a cell tower. This cell tower is like the middleman – it then sends the wave to the other person.
For example, imagine you are calling your mom from your cell phone to hers. When you dial her number, your radio wave is connecting with the cell tower. When you hear the line ringing, the cell tower is connecting you with her radio waves.
When she picks up, the cell tower has successfully connected the two of you. Even though the process is a bit more complicated than this, the basic idea is like this.
When we speak over the cell phone, our language is converted into communication waves called binary. So this binary travels back and forth (the conversation) until one person cuts the line.
The reason that we can hear the person speaking at the same time he does (without there being a delay) is that radio waves travel at the speed of light.
Up in the cell tower, many computers monitor all the communication waves and that is how we end up talking to a particular person when we dial their number.
If there were no cell towers that monitors and directs calls, we would not know who would pick up the phone when we dial a number.
Going back in time, even though the possibilities of wireless communications existed since the 1840s, it was not until Dr Martin Cooper invented the first portable handset in 1973 did things start speeding up.
He was the general manager at that time at one of the world’s leading mobile companies Motorola and was the first person to make a call from a portable cell phone.
By 1977, cell phones were quite popular, and within the next 2 years, Japan started testing out cellular phone services too.
From about 1988, the American Telecommunications Industry Association introduced laws, goals, and standards for the rapidly growing industry.
Many companies started manufacturing cell phones and introducing newer and better ways of improving the quality of communications between people.
Today, the industry has reached new heights by offering mobile internet through Wi-Fi systems, “dongles”, wireless routers, and USB ports.
While the older models could only make calls, and send text messages, the newer ones allow for email and internet access, to play games, watch TV, PDA, GPS, stock information and so much more.
People rely on cell phones to make doctor’s appointments, keep reminders of important dates, and internet banking to name a few.
Can you imagine that on a planet that has about 6.8 billion people, 5 billion of them subscribed to mobile phones in 2010?
From the looks of it, within the next few years, every man, woman, and child on Earth will be carrying at least one mobile phone.
Life has been changed forever with the invention of the mobile phone so much that we cannot imagine how our lives would be, or the world would be without it now.