First automatic analogue cellular systems deployed were "NTT's system first used in Tokyo in 1979, later spreading to the whole of Japan, and "NMT in the "Nordic countries in 1981.
The first analogue cellular system widely deployed in North America was the "Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS). It was commercially introduced in the Americas in 13 October 1983, Israel in 1986, and Australia in 1987. AMPS was a pioneering technology that helped drive mass market usage of cellular technology, but it had several serious issues by modern standards. It was unencrypted and easily vulnerable to eavesdropping via a "scanner; it was susceptible to cell phone "cloning" and it used a "Frequency-division multiple access (FDMA) scheme and required significant amounts of wireless spectrum to support.
On 6 March 1983, the "DynaTAC 8000X mobile phone launched on the first US 1G network by "Ameritech. It cost $100m to develop, and took over a decade to reach the market. The phone had a talk time of just thirty-five minutes and took ten hours to charge. Consumer demand was strong despite the battery life, weight, and low talk time, and waiting lists were in the thousands.
Many of the iconic early commercial cell phones such as the Motorola DynaTAC Analog AMPS were eventually superseded by "Digital AMPS (D-AMPS) in 1990, and AMPS service was shut down by most North American carriers by 2008.
In February 1986 Australia launched its Cellular Telephone System by Telecom Australia. Peter Reedman was the first Telecom Customer to be connected on 6 January 1986 along with five other subscribers as test customers prior to the official launch date of 28 February.
2G – Digital cellular
In the 1990s, the 'second generation' mobile phone systems emerged. Two systems competed for supremacy in the global market: the European developed "GSM standard and the U.S. developed CDMA standard. These differed from the previous generation by using digital instead of analog transmission, and also fast "out-of-band phone-to-network signaling. The rise in mobile phone usage as a result of 2G was explosive and this era also saw the "advent of "prepaid mobile phones.
In 1991 the first GSM network ("Radiolinja) launched in "Finland. In general the frequencies used by 2G systems in Europe were higher than those in America, though with some overlap. For example, the 900 MHz frequency range was used for both 1G and 2G systems in Europe, so the 1G systems were rapidly closed down to make space for the 2G systems. In America the "IS-54 standard was deployed in the same band as "AMPS and displaced some of the existing analog channels.
In 1993, "IBM Simon was introduced. This was possibly the world's first smartphone. It was a mobile phone, pager, fax machine, and PDA all rolled into one. It included a calendar, address book, clock, calculator, notepad, email, and a touchscreen with a QWERTY keyboard. The IBM Simon had a stylus you used to tap the touch screen with. It featured predictive typing that would guess the next characters as you tapped. It had applications, or at least a way to deliver more features by plugging a PCMCIA 1.8 MB memory card into the phone. Coinciding with the introduction of 2G systems was a trend away from the larger "brick" phones toward tiny 100 – 200 gram hand-held devices. This change was possible not only through technological improvements such as more advanced batteries and more energy-efficient electronics, but also because of the higher density of cell sites to accommodate increasing usage. The latter meant that the average distance transmission from phone to the base station shortened, leading to increased battery life while on the move.
The second generation introduced a new variant of communication called SMS or text messaging. It was initially available only on GSM networks but spread eventually on all digital networks. The first machine-generated SMS message was sent in the UK on 3 December 1992 followed in 1993 by the first person-to-person SMS sent in Finland. The advent of "prepaid services in the late 1990s soon made SMS the communication method of choice among the young, a trend which spread across all ages.
2G also introduced the ability to access media content on mobile phones. In 1998 the first downloadable content sold to mobile phones was the ring tone, launched by Finland's Radiolinja (now Elisa). Advertising on the mobile phone first appeared in Finland when a free daily SMS news headline service was launched in 2000, sponsored by advertising.
Mobile payments were trialed in 1998 in Finland and Sweden where a mobile phone was used to pay for a Coca Cola vending machine and car parking. Commercial launches followed in 1999 in Norway. The first commercial payment system to mimic banks and credit cards was launched in the Philippines in 1999 simultaneously by mobile operators Globe and Smart.
The first full internet service on mobile phones was introduced by NTT DoCoMo in Japan in 1999.
3G – Mobile broadband
As the use of 2G phones became more widespread and people began to utilize mobile phones in their daily lives, it became clear that demand for data (such as access to browse the internet) was growing. Further, experience from fixed broadband services showed there would also be an ever increasing demand for greater data speeds. The 2G technology was nowhere near up to the job, so the industry began to work on the next generation of technology known as 3G. The main technological difference that distinguishes 3G technology from 2G technology is the use of "packet switching rather than "circuit switching for data transmission. In addition, the standardization process focused on requirements more than technology (2 Mbit/s maximum data rate indoors, 384 kbit/s outdoors, for example).
Inevitably this led to many competing standards with different contenders pushing their own technologies, and the vision of a single unified worldwide standard looked far from reality. The standard 2G "CDMA networks became 3G compliant with the adoption of Revision A to "EV-DO, which made several additions to the protocol while retaining backwards compatibility:
- Introduction of several new forward link data rates that increase the maximum burst rate from 2.45 Mbit/s to 3.1 Mbit/s
- Protocols that would decrease connection establishment time
- Ability for more than one mobile to share the same time slot
- Introduction of "QoS flags
All these were put in place to allow for low latency, low bit rate communications such as "VoIP.
The first pre-commercial trial network with 3G was launched by NTT DoCoMo in Japan in the Tokyo region in May 2001. NTT DoCoMo launched the first commercial 3G network on 1 October 2001, using the WCDMA technology. In 2002 the first 3G networks on the rival CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology were launched by SK Telecom and KTF in South Korea, and Monet in the USA. Monet has since gone bankrupt. By the end of 2002, the second WCDMA network was launched in Japan by Vodafone KK (now Softbank). European launches of 3G were in Italy and the UK by the Three/Hutchison group, on WCDMA. 2003 saw a further 8 commercial launches of 3G, six more on WCDMA and two more on the EV-DO standard.
During the development of "3G systems, "2.5G systems such as "CDMA2000 1x and "GPRS were developed as extensions to existing 2G networks. These provide some of the features of 3G without fulfilling the promised high data rates or full range of multimedia services. CDMA2000-1X delivers theoretical maximum data speeds of up to 307 kbit/s. Just beyond these is the "EDGE system which in theory covers the requirements for 3G system, but is so narrowly above these that any practical system would be sure to fall short.
The high connection speeds of 3G technology enabled a transformation in the industry: for the first time, media streaming of radio (and even television) content to 3G handsets became possible, with companies such as "RealNetworks and "Disney among the early pioneers in this type of offering.
In the mid-2000s (decade), an evolution of 3G technology began to be implemented, namely "High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). It is an enhanced "3G (third generation) "mobile telephony "communications protocol in the "High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) family, also coined 3.5G, 3G+ or turbo 3G, which allows networks based on "Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity. Current HSDPA deployments support down-link speeds of 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.0 "Mbit/s.
By the end of 2007, there were 295 million subscribers on 3G networks worldwide, which reflected 9% of the total worldwide subscriber base. About two thirds of these were on the WCDMA standard and one third on the EV-DO standard. The 3G telecoms services generated over 120 Billion dollars of revenues during 2007 and at many markets the majority of new phones activated were 3G phones. In Japan and South Korea the market no longer supplies phones of the second generation.
Although mobile phones had long had the ability to access data networks such as the Internet, it was not until the widespread availability of good quality 3G coverage in the mid-2000s (decade) that specialized devices appeared to access the "mobile web. The first such devices, known as ""dongles", plugged directly into a computer through the "USB port. Another new class of device appeared subsequently, the so-called "compact wireless router" such as the Novatel "MiFi, which makes 3G Internet connectivity available to multiple computers simultaneously over "Wi-Fi, rather than just to a single computer via a USB plug-in.
Such devices became especially popular for use with laptop computers due to the added portability they bestow. Consequently, some computer manufacturers started to embed the mobile data function directly into the laptop so a dongle or MiFi wasn't needed. Instead, the "SIM card could be inserted directly into the device itself to access the mobile data services. Such 3G-capable laptops became commonly known as "netbooks". Other types of data-aware devices followed in the netbook's footsteps. By the beginning of 2010, E-readers, such as the "Amazon "Kindle and the "Nook from "Barnes & Noble, had already become available with embedded wireless Internet, and "Apple Computer had announced plans for embedded wireless Internet on its "iPad tablet devices beginning that Fall.
4G – Native IP networks
By 2009, it had become clear that, at some point, 3G networks would be overwhelmed by the growth of bandwidth-intensive applications like streaming media. Consequently, the industry began looking to data-optimized 4th-generation technologies, with the promise of speed improvements up to 10-fold over existing 3G technologies. The first two commercially available technologies billed as 4G were the "WiMAX standard (offered in the U.S. by "Sprint) and the "LTE standard, first offered in Scandinavia by "TeliaSonera.
One of the main ways in which 4G differed technologically from 3G was in its elimination of "circuit switching, instead employing an all-IP network. Thus, 4G ushered in a treatment of voice calls just like any other type of streaming audio media, utilizing packet switching over Internet, "LAN or "WAN networks via "VoIP.
As well as the now-common cellular phone, there is also the very different approach of connecting directly from the handset to an Earth-orbiting satellite. Such mobile phones can be used in remote areas out of reach of wired networks or where construction of a cellular network is uneconomic.
The "Inmarsat system is the oldest, originally developed in 1979 for safety of life at sea, and uses a series of satellites in "geostationary orbits to cover the majority of the globe. Several smaller operators use the same approach with just one or two satellites to provide a regional service. An alternative approach is to use a series of "low Earth orbit satellites much closer to Earth. This is the basis of the "Iridium and "Globalstar satellite phone services.
- "The Mobile Revolution
- "History of the prepaid mobile phone
- "History of the telephone
- "List of best-selling mobile phones
- "Personal Communications Service PCS
- "Smartphone § History
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