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A Brief History Of Mobile Phones


Mobile phones have permeated every aspect of our lives. We talk on them, text on them, email on them, bank on them, shop on them. Fact is, you can pretty well operating your entire life with that little device in your pocket. But, it hasn't always been that way. It has been a rocky road of development for the cellphone. Let's take a look at the story of mobile technology with a brief history of mobile phones.


Early Days

Mobile technology began to be explored as far back as 1918 in Europe. Like most things in those times, the technology was centred around trains. Military trains experimented with mobile communications tech post World War I and went public in the 20's on trains largely based out of Germany.

In the 40's the first mobile call was made from an automobile. In 1946, the first call was made from a car in St. Louis, Missouri. That was followed up by a service set up in Chicago, illinois that year. These phones weighed 80 pounds and operated on just three channels city-wide. That later expanded to 32 channels on three bands. This practice continued in some capacity until the 1980's.


The First Truly Mobile Phone

Motorola began development on the first truly mobile phone in 1973. It took a decade for the first phone to hit market. The Motorola DynaTAC launched on March 6th, 1983. It retailed for $3,995 for those who were lucky enough to get their hands on one. The phone itself featured up to 30 minutes of talk time, 8 hours of stand-by time, a 10 hour charging cycle, and cost $100 Million dollars to develop. This phone ran on a 1G Network and was followed up by several variations.

The Network Expands

2G Networks launched in Finland in 1991. It took 10 years for 3G Networks to start pop up, followed up by the standard 4G Network in 2009, and now, we are settling into LTE networks. During this period phones began being offered by numerous companies and service providers. The number of subscribers has sky-rocketed, going from 12.4 Million people in 1990, to over 6 Billion people in 2011.

Other Important Dates In Mobile Phone History

April 3, 1973 - First mobile phone call placed between Motorola worker and Bell rival

December 3, 1992 - First SMS (Text Message) Message sent wishing "Merry Christmas"

June 29th, 2007 - The Apple iPhone launches

One thought on “A Brief History Of Mobile Phones”

  • Richard

    It goes to show how much more innovative our mobile phones have become these days. Years ago text messaging would have been seen as completely high tech. Nowadays you can do so much more on your phone than ever before. It's almost like having a mini-laptop to take a long with you. As phones continue to evolve with more cutting edge features, it makes you wonder if they will eventually replace laptops in the future.