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Keith Griffiths > News > General > Mobile phones: where would you be without them?

Mobile phones: where would you be without them?

Mobile phones have become one of the most popular must have appliances throughout the world and is used by millions each day. The days of using your mobile phone to call and text message other people are long gone.

Mobile phones of today are mini computers which are just as often used for everyday tasks such as; banking, payments and bills, social media, watching TV and videos, sat nav’s, surfing the internet and so much more.

Mobile phones even allow you to do face to face video streaming and make cheap calls with advanced features such as VOIP – voice over internet protocol.

So how did we get to where we are today in terms of the mobile phone technology and how much further can we go in terms of this technology and its capabilities that lay ahead.

Well it all started around the 1940’s actually, yes that’s early.

Transmission speech by radio has a long history stretching back to Reginald Fessendens shore to ship radio telephony used in the 1930’s, and was also used by the military during the second world.

Bell labs of the USA made the first mobile phone call from a vehicle on June 17th 1946. Shortly after that several telephone companies introduced this technology to the public by having phones fitted in their vehicles. This was effectively the first mobile phone.

These units were very large and needed a lot of power to run, that’s why they needed a vehicle to carry them and supply the power. Also the networks only allowed several simultaneous calls at once and connecting was a real issue. Over the years the size of the devices did get smaller and the services a little better but it was not until 1973 when the real breakthrough came.

Again Bell labs were involved along with Motorola and on April 3rd 1973 a Motorola researcher named Martin Cooper made the first telephone call to Joel Engel of Bell Labs from an hand held mobile phone. Although the phone was portable/mobile it measured 9 inches in length, just under 2 inch wide, 5 inch deep and weighed 2.5 pounds, not only that it took 10 hours to charge and offered just 30 minutes talk time.

But this was what they call the (0G), zero generation, the generation that started the whole cellular mobile phone concept

In 1978 the first analogue cellular mobile phone was introduced to the North America’s. It used  AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System). What we know as 1st generation (1G). This was pioneering technology and is what helped drive the cellular popularity.

The use of this technology quickly expanded to other countries and was introduced to the UK public during the early 80’s, and in 1983 Motorola brought out the infamous Motorola DynaTAC 8000X Advanced Mobile Phone System, otherwise known as the ‘Original Brick’. This was a sensation and is what helped the mobile phone take off.

Although it was a major breakthrough, mobile technology was not without it’s flaws and was quite vulnerable. Because it was analogue it was uncrypted and calls could be listened upon via a scanner or this phone could be cloned and by modern standards this is a very serious issue.

The 1990’s saw another great leap in the mobile phone demand as 2G technology was introduced commonly know as digital. This was much safer, faster and clearer. It also helped reduce the size slightly of the older analogue phones.

The demand was explosive and in the same era produced the pre-paid mobile phone as we know it today. People now began to utilize their phones in their everyday lives and demand for data services and things such as texting and access to the internet.

This prompted for new technology and the 3G phone was introduced

3G technology has totally transformed how we use our mobile phones, 3G allows easy internet access with mobile broadband, video streaming, video calls and so much more.

Even that is not enough for people today, the latest technology is the 4G. This is needed because of the amount of internet media we use is getting larger and network space is getting smaller. 4G deals with this using Native IP networks, basically this gives you more room with a faster service.

So where will technology take us next with our mobile phones?

There are now items on the market that are specifically designed to be controlled by your mobile. We can already control our home appliances, security systems and even pay bills or go shopping online, we can talk face to face with people and much more so what is coming next?

IBM, Microsoft and other technology based companies are working on the next phase of mobile technology, think devices, each thought we have creates a specific frequency, this frequency can be accessed by a mobile device, this is being developed and we should see signs of this technology coming though onto the open market in the next couple of years.

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