History of Mobile

History of Mobile

Mobile phones are seen as a modern invention, but they are a development of something that dates back a long way: communication.

Digital wireless and cellular roots go back to the1940s when commercial mobile telephony puter.began. Compared to today's furious pace of development, it may seem odd that wireless didn't come along sooner. There are many reasons for that. Technology, disinterest, and to some extent regulation limited early United States radio-telephone development. As the vacuum tube and the transistor made possible the early telephone network, the wireless revolution began only after low cost microprocessors and digital switching became available. And while the Bell System built the finest landline telephone system in the world, they never seemed truly committed to mobile telephony. Federal regulations also hindered many projects but in Europe, where state run telephone companies controlled their own telecom development, although, admittedly, without competition, wireless came no sooner, and in most cases, later. Starting in 1921 in the United States mobile radios began operating at 2 MHz, just above the present A.M. radio broadcast band.

In 1934 the United States Congress created the Federal Communications Commission. In addition to regulating landline interstate telephone business, they also began managing the radio spectrum. It decided who would get what frequencies. It gave priority to emergency services, government agencies, utility companies, and services it thought helped the most people. Radio users like a taxi service or a tow truck dispatch company required little spectrum to conduct their business. Radio telephone used large frequency allocations to serve a few people. The FCC designated no radio-telephone channels until after World War II.

On June 17, 1946 in SaintMissouri, AT&T and Southwestern Bell introduced the first American commercial mobile radio-telephone service. Mobiles used newly issued vehicle radio-telephone licenses granted to Southwestern Bell by the FCC. They operated on six channels in the 150 MHz band with a 60 kHz channel spacing. [Peterson] Bad cross channel interference, something like cross talk in a landline phone, soon forced Bell to use only three channels. In a rare exception to Bell System practice, subscribers could buy their own radio sets and not AT&T's equipment. Installed high above Southwestern Bell's headquarters at 1010 Pine Street, a centrally located antenna transmitting 250 watts paged mobiles and provided radio-telephone traffic on the downlink.


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