Mobile Communication: A Troubled Past, A Bright Future
The knowledge of how mobile phones work has existed since 1947. The development of mobile phones and their associated networks, however, was a process that struggled for decades until the technology caught up with data.
According to an American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) installers training course, "As early as 1947, it was realized that small cells with frequency reuse could increase traffic capacity substantially and the basic cellular concept was developed. However, the technology did not exist." Add to that complications that arose with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) along the way and one might wonder how cellular phones ever became as widely used as they are today.
The popularity of mobile communication devices has been evident from the beginning. According to Wave Guide, since 1921,with the invention of mobile radio used primarily by police and the military, available channels made available by the FCC quickly became overcrowded.
Public Use of Mobile Phones
In 1947, the first public mobile telephones were introduced for use between New York and Boston. However, as was typical of previous attempts to make this technology work, interference was a major drawback. Progress dragged along over the next two decades as improvements were made and frequencies were increased.
By 1969, automatic channel selection for each call was made a standard in mobile phone technology. In 1977, AT&T was granted a license to operate an experimental cellular system in Chicago.
"Car Phones" vs. "Mobile Phones"
Originally, what is commonly referred to as a "mobile phone" today was called a "car phone." The reason was simple. The initial versions of these phones were mounted and hardwired into an automobile. They received power from the car's engine and required the use of an antenna on the roof of the car to gain optimum transmission distances.
As car phones gained in popularity, they were considered to be quite a status symbol. So much so that it was known for drivers to place a bogus antenna atop their cars to give the impression that they owned a car phone.
Eventually, "car phones" evolved into "bag phones." The portable versions of their predecessors were still large and bulky. They were housed in carrying bags complete with a power source. These phones were unable to operate for long periods of time due to a short battery life so an accessory was made available that would allow battery charging via the cigarette lighter in an automobile.
It wasn't until the 1990s that truly mobile phones began to emerge. Completely redesigned to be much smaller and with long-life batteries, these phones became instantly popular with the general public. As mobile phones made themselves an indispensable part of our lives, newer and more innovative accessories were created to support their use.
The Mobile Phone Accessory Craze
Initially, mobile phones came equipped with a battery charger, which operated via an electrical outlet. As impatient users were left waiting for their phones to recharge, car adaptors were invented that allowed cellular phone batteries to charge via the cigarette lighter in a car.
Keeping pace with lifestyle changes, the mobile phone accessory business soon exploded with such creations as headsets, earpieces, belt clips, harnesses, iPod adapters, Bluetooth adapters, USB chargers for computers, music and ring tones and countless others.
Eventually, the mobile technology of cellular phones merged with the Internet creating, what is commonly referred to as, mobile Web. Now mobile phone users can access the Worldwide Web and gain access to such features as email, instant messaging, WAP-enabled websites and more.
According to Webopeida, the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) allows handheld mobile users the ability to access information via a wireless device. This technology was specifically designed for use with small screens and without a keyboard.
Not all websites are designed for viewing on the mobile web, but an ever-growing number of organizations are working toward WAP sites to increase their business.
Mobile Phones for Multiple Purposes
Today, mobile phone use worldwide has reached remarkable levels. RTE News reports that mobile phone use in Ireland has reached 100%. In other words, there are as many mobile phones are there are people.
Other countries are following suit. Spain, Finland and Austria record 100% mobile phone use while France reports only about 75%. However, Luxembourg, Germany has a 156% mobile phone use rate with many citizens having more than one active mobile phone.
Mobile phones have become a mainstay in the lives of most people. Used not only for communication, cellular phones also hold value for entertainment, security and commerce. With cell phone games, mobile TV, built-in digital cameras and radio programming now common on mobile phones it is hard to imagine any new developments in the is once stalled technology. With the progress made in the last five years alone, there is no doubt new and innovative features are on the horizon.