The idea of cell phones it has been around for much longer than the technology to provide them. As soon as the first landlines were put into operation, people had the idea to improve the convenience and flexibility of this new means of communication and bring it to new areas like automobiles. At first, mobile phones were little more than two-way portable radios, but as technology improved, the concepts behind mobile phones improved rapidly.
Bell Labs Y Motorola They both participated in a dramatic race to see who could invent the first viable mobile phones. While Bell Labs had installed innovative radio systems in police cars, these devices were too large for anyone to carry with them and therefore not practical as a true mobile phone. However, in 1973, Martin Cooper, a scientist working for Motorola, successfully made the first call with a cell phone using a portable phone. The era of the mobile phone was finally born, and who did you call? None other than his rival at Bell Labs, Joel Engel, who had been running with him to create the invention.
Within a couple of years, both Bell and AT&T had created their own prototypes and the first test areas were established. Chicago and Tokyo were the first cities in the world to be able to use a cell phone, but their availability was extremely limited, and the new phones were only available to a select number of test customers to begin with. For example, the 1979 test company in Chicago distributed cell phones to only 2,000 customers.
The idea caught like wildfire. In 1987, there were more than a million mobile phone users in the United States alone. It seemed like everyone wanted a cell phone and the major companies involved really got it right. However, there were difficulties. For example, in the US, the FCC regulates and allocates radio bandwidth for different purposes. The radio spectrum is limited and can become “full”, so it is necessary to control who makes use of the different parts of it. The area for which they were licensed cellphones, at 800 MHz it filled up quickly. Instead of giving more, however, they forced telcos to improve technology and find more efficient ways to use the bandwidth they had. By the late 1980s, this had been accomplished and the era of mobile phones that we know today really got underway. And the rest, as they say, is history.