Mobile Telephony: a 50-Year History


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Mobile Telephony

In just a few years mobile phones have become an essential device in our lives, in fact, there are now thousands of models and different manufacturers continue to innovate trying to stand out from the competition.

Given the advantages and disadvantages of mobile phone, it has definitely inaugurated a new era in interpersonal conversations, so it is worth investigating.

Today we want to review the evolution of mobile telephony, from the beginning, watching closely, how this change has occurred, which as you know, has been quite accused in a matter of years.

In the early days of mobile telephony there was no communications standard, instead, each company made use of its own system. An example of this is Mobile Telephone System A (MTA) phone that could be integrated into a vehicle in 1956, and had a total of 125 users in Sweden until 1967. It was mobile, of course, but it had a weight of 40 kilos !

From the late 70s to 1983 the first mobile phone was developed, which looked like today’s fashionable cordless phones. This is the DynaTAC 8000X , although its price of the time, $ 3,995, it was very clear to what type of audience was directed. The current price of its release to the market, taking into account the inflation of all these years would be more than 6,000 euros.

The basic problem of the DynaTAC was the technology of the moment of the batteries, which allowed a maximum operation of 60 minutes . For this reason, Nokia launched its Mobira Talkman in 1984, which came along with a briefcase that included a range of several hours of continuous operation.

Motorola continued to innovate in the mobile field, since in 1989 it launched the smallest and lightest mobile phone of the time in 1989, the first mobile with cover design, which allowed to reduce the size of it at rest and be able to be unfolded to use it. We are talking about MicroTAC .

In 1994 Motorola launched a phone intended to be used in cars. The type of phone is known as Bag Phone, and the one we show you is the Motorola 2900 . The phone was connected by cable, like a traditional phone to a bag that integrated the transmitter and receiver and a battery, heavier. This made possible an emission with greater power, something important in those years when the coverage was not as good as today.

In 1996 , Motorola continued to innovate with its StarTAC terminal, the first mobile in clamshell format, which was folded in half, making it a really compact phone to be transported.

In 1997 , Nokia launched the first smartphone. It came with a CPU derived from an Intel 386 and 8 Mbytes of RAM. The phone in question is the Nokia 9000i . It brought to the world the traditional design of the Nokia Communicator in which the phone could be opened horizontally, showing a widescreen and a QWERTY keyboard. The phone could receive and send faxes, SMS and emails, being able to access the Internet through SMS messages.

Nokia continued to investigate in the following years and arrived in 1998 with a finish that changed the aesthetics of all mobiles. Until the moment all the terminals integrated an external antenna and with the Nokia 8810 , that tendency changed. It was the first candy bar terminal .

Mobile Internet was beginning to be born and with this we are talking about the WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) connections , something that Nokia began to implement in its terminals in 1999, in particular with its Nokia 7110 , known to be the mobile phone that they advertised in the first movie of the Matrix saga.

Despite being born in 1999, it was not until 2002 when the RIM company, “guilty” of the well-known BlackBerry terminals, began to take off. It was that year when he presented his BlackBerry 5810 , the first model of the BlackBerry series to integrate mobile data support. Thanks to this feature, and its keyboard, it had personal calendar functions and push email support.

That same year, 2002 was when the first mobile with an integrated camera was born. It came in the hands of Sprint and Sanyo , the SCP-5300. Since then it has become practically a standard. What mobile phone that comes on the market today does not integrate a camera?

It was the year 2004 when Motorola returned to innovate in the market with its Razr V3 terminal, a slim mobile, clamshell with a large screen and an innovative flat keyboard, without individual keys, camera and multimedia functionalities. The phone itself became a best-selling model for the year 2004 and since then it has undergone several evolutions, having models in the market today that follow the same line.

Finally we want to mention the latest range of smartphones that we are living today and that was born with the iPhone in 2007 . With it came many new features to the market, such as the popularity of touch screens (multitouch) in your case, a simple Internet access and advanced multimedia capabilities. In 2009 , we have already the third model of iPhone, 3GS , and terminals that have copied several of its features, although with other operating systems such as Nokia N97 , Palm Pre or any terminal with Android , HTC Hero , for example.

We will have to wait to see what the future holds, but it seems clear that mobile Internet, touch screens , application stores and ease of use will be common elements of mobile phones in years to come.


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Suraj