Cell Phones – The Lengthy Highway to As we speak

The infrastructure for making mobile phones was developed towards the middle of the last century. Yet, these phones couldn’t be introduced in the market because of highly restrictive FCC polices and rules until 1973. However, the price of these phones at that time was so high that only a small percentage of the population could afford them until the mid 1980s.

History

Mobile phone technology was extensively in use by railways all over Europe during the 1950s. Radio communication was quite widespread in cabs, as well as emergency vehicles in the US. It was a luxury to have car phones, a luxury which slowly gained popularity. Because of their excessive size, weight and high cost, they were patronized by the rich only. Finally, during 1982, the FCC permitted cellular phone services for commercial use, and in the years that followed, these phones became a product of mass consumption.

Function

The mobile phones that were introduced initially, also known as 1G or the first generation phones, were designed to work on an analog transmission, meaning that the data was transmitted via a sliding scale of information and not as a binary code, like in case of digital transmission. It was mainly the FCC which framed the regulations for transmission and the allocation of bandwidths. The FCC decides which frequencies should be permitted for use by the chosen licensed companies for the specified purposes. The mobile phones in use at that time were quite heavy, often weighing from 2 to 4 pounds, and would cost a few thousand dollars.

Geography

Almost all over the world, the technology concerning mobile phones developed at nearly the same pace as in America. The restrictions on use of airways in Europe and Japan were removed at a faster pace, compared to the US. For instance, Japan introduced mobile phones for the first time during 1979, long before these got introduced in the American market. Motorola earned the distinction as the first American company to have introduced mobile phone in the US. One reason for the US to follow the third generation of phone or 3G standards later than countries like Japan, Europe and South Korea, which followed these in early 2000s, was the slower rate of deregulations in the US.

Effects

The technological developments of the 1980s, particularly in the field of electronics, enabled the manufacturers to cut down on the size of mobile phones, and towards the middle of the 1980s, the manufacturing of handheld telephone instruments started. During the 1990s, it became very common to have still smaller phones, many of which came with additional and helpful features like e-mail, personal organization and note taking. Another very significant development that took place at that time was the availability of phones based on 2G technology, using digital technology that allowed the users to receive and send small messages in text, known as SMS.

Benefits

Within a few decades, the technology has tremendously helped communication all over the world. Now, a mobile phone enables you to be in touch with your family and friends in any part of the world. More advanced phones allow you to browse the net and run very complex applications, which would have been difficult even by using a computer two decades ago. You can include a GPS on your phone, play videos, indulge in stock trading and a lot more activities.

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