mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone, cell phone, and a hand phone) is a phone that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link while 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 the short 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 to as smartphones.
The first hand-held cell phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Dr Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing around 2.2 pounds (1 kg). In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first to be commercially available. From 1990 to 2011, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million to over 6 billion, penetrating about 87% of the global population and reaching the bottom of the economic pyramid. A hand-held mobile radiotelephone is an old dream of radio engineering. A particularly vivid and in many ways accurate prediction was presented by Arthur C. Clarke in a 1959 essay, where he envisioned a "personal transceiver, so small and compact that every man carries one." He wrote: "the time will come when we will be able to call a person anywhere on Earth merely by dialing a number." Such a device would also, in Clarke's vision, include means for global positioning so that "no one need ever again be lost." Later, in Profiles of the Future, he predicted the advent of such a device taking place in the mid-1980s.
Early predecessors of cellular phones included analog radio communications from ships and trains. The race to create truly portable telephone devices began after World War II, with developments taking place in many countries. The advances in mobile telephony have been traced in successive generations from the early "0G" (zeroth generation) services like the Bell System's Mobile Telephone Service and its successor, Improved Mobile Telephone Service. These "0G" systems were not cellular, supported few simultaneous calls, and were very expensive.
The first handheld mobile cell phone was demonstrated by Motorola in 1973. The first commercial automated cellular network was launched in Japan by NTT in 1979. In 1981, this was followed by the simultaneous launch of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Several other countries then followed in the early to mid-1980s. These first generatiion ("1G") systems could support far more simultaneous calls, but still used analog technology.
In 1991, the second generation (2G) digital cellular technology was launched 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 UMTS networks to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity.
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. In general
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