A mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone, cell phone and a hand phone) is a device that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile phone operator, allowing access to the public telephone network. By contrast, a cordless telephone is used only within theshort range of a single, private base station.
In addition to telephony, modern mobile phones also support a wide variety of other services such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, gaming and photography. Mobile phones that offer these and more general computing capabilities are referred toassmartphones.
The first hand-held mobile phone was demonstrated by Dr Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing around 1 kg. In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first to be commercially available. In the twenty years from 1990 to 2010, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million to over 4.6 billion, penetrating the developing economiesand reaching the bottom of theeconomic pyramid.
Radiophones have a long and varied history going back to Reginald Fessenden's invention and shore-to-ship demonstration of radio telephony, through the Second World War with military use of radio telephony links and civil services in the 1950s.
The first mobile telephone call made from a car occurred in St. Louis, Missouri, USA on June 17, 1946, using the BellSystem's Mobile Telephone Service. In 1956, the world’s first partly automatic car phone system, Mobile System A (MTA), was launched in Sweden. MTA phones were composed of vacuum tubes and relays, and had a weight of 40 kg.
Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive is considered to be the inventor of the first practical mobile phone for handheld use in a non-vehicle setting, aftera long race against Bell Labs for the first portable mobile phone. Using a modern, if somewhat heavy portable handset, Cooper made the first call on a handheld mobile phone on April 3, 1973 to his rival, Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.
The world's first commercial automated cellular network was launched in Japan by NTT in 1979, initially in the metropolitan area of Tokyo. In 1981, this wasfollowed by the simultaneous launch of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The first 1G network launched in the USA was Chicago-based Ameritech in 1983 using the Motorola DynaTAC mobile phone. Several countries then followed in the early-to-mid 1980s including the UK, Mexico and Canada.
In 1991, the second generation (2G) cellular technology waslaunched in Finland by Radiolinja on the GSM standard, which sparked competition in the sector as the new operators challenged the incumbent 1G network operators.
Ten years later, in 2001, the third generation (3G) was launched in Japan by NTT DoCoMo on the WCDMA standard. This was followed by 3.5G, 3G+ or turbo 3G enhancements based on the high-speed packet access (HSPA) family, allowing UMTSnetworks to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity.
Cellular phones have had a major impact on our lives and the way that we perform every day tasks. Many of these changes are apparent, while others we may not even be aware of.
Cell phones have brought a whole new meaning to the term multitasking. Twenty years ago, it was not possible to talk to the office while you were at the grocerystore picking up some necessary items. You could never have had a three-way business conference while you were fixing dinner or been able to deal with a business client from home while caring for a sick child. Cell phones have enabled us to do various tasks all at the same time.
Cell phones have also enabled families to keep in closer touch with each other. Children can contact you if they...