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The first cell phone
As early as the 1930s travelers could place phone calls from and to ocean liners in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The process was driven by Marine VHF Radio and cost $7 a minute (roughly $100 a minute when adjusted for inflation to today’s money).
The first fully automated mobile phone system for vehicles was launched in Sweden by TeliaSonera and Ericsson in 1956. Named MTA (Mobile Telephone system A). This was the first time calls could be made and received in the car while using the public telephone network.
Prior to 1973, mobile telephony was limited to phones installed in cars and other vehicles.
on April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher, and executive, made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment. The prototype handheld phone used by Dr. Cooper weighed 2.5 pounds and measured 9 inches long, 5 inches deep and 1.75 inches wide. The prototype offered a talk time of just 30 minutes and took 10 hours to re-charge.
By 1981, the first generation of mobile telephone systems known as the Nordic Mobile Telephone System emerged in Sweden and Norway. Osten Makitalo, who is known as the father of the mobile telephone, said “NMT was the first modern telephone system, the mother of all mobile telephones. Everything after that is actually just copied.”
Initial NMT phones were designed to mount in the trunk of a car, with a keyboard/display unit at the driver’s seat. “Portable” versions existed: one could definitely move them, but they were bulky, and battery life was a big problem.
On March 6, 1983, Motorola started selling DynaTAC 8000X, the first commercial portable cellular telephone, at a price of $3,995. The DynaTAC 8000X was truly the first mobile telephone which could connect to the telephone network without the assistance of a mobile operator and could be carried about by the user.
It weighed 28 ounces (790 g) and was 10 inches (25 cm) high, not including its flexible “rubber duck” whip antenna. It offered 30 minutes of talk time and 8 hours of standby, and a LED display for dialing or recall of one of 30 phone numbers.
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