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38 years have passed since the first cell phone call

Posted: , by Victor H.

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38 years have passed since the first cell phone call

Yesterday, 38 years passed since Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola placed the first phone call on a cell phone while taking a stroll on the streets of New York City in the distant April 3rd of 1973. Cooper made a dazzling demonstration by calling none other than rival Dr. Engel, research chief of Bell Labs, closely tied to AT&T at the time. Passers-by on Sixth Avenue must have looked in awe as Cooper picked up his 2.2-pound Motorola DynaTAC handset for the brief call. Cooper is now viewed as the creator of the cellular telephone, which at the time would have put you back a whopping $3500.


Cellular technology was being developed in the times of WWII, but it wasn't until the 70's until it saw wider commercialization. A quick flashback to early phone days shows that mass adoption of the first generation of cell phones actually happened in Japan in 1979, covering metropolitan Tokyo with 23 base stations. Nordic European countries followed suit in 1981 and launched the first roaming network between Sweden, Denmark, Norway and... Finland, of course. In 1983, the metropolitan Chicago area joined the bandwagon stateside.


38 years have passed since the first cell phone call
Finland was the place where innovation happened in following years as the first 2G network was launched in the home country of today's largest phone maker, Nokia. It was the first true digital solution, which opened a brand new range of services like text messaging (1993, Finland), ringtones (1998, Finland) and Internet service (1999, Japan). This brings us to modern times and the 3G wideband networks, introduced in 2001. They not only brought the HSPA protocol for fast data transfers, but were also compatible with the previous generation of networks.


That's how it all started, and today our cell phones communicate with satellites to pin-point our location with amazing precision and we're on the verge of converting to 4G LTE as the main communication standard. Check out our in-depth look at the enticing possibilites of LTE, but to get a sense of how it all started, skip to the video below, where the creator of the cell phone himself speaks about the technology.


source: AT&T and Wikipedia (1), (2)


12 Comments
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posted on 04 Apr 2011, 09:48 1

1. G-reg (unregistered)


Wow... Just wow

posted on 05 Apr 2011, 21:38

12. PapaJay224 (Posts: 866; Member since: 08 Feb 2009)


this guy makes sprint sound like shit...Att sound slow and verizon sound like a king! Guess future speaks for itself

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 11:04

2. in4parbrad (Posts: 9; Member since: 14 Oct 2010)


Absolutely great piece and a testament to the absolute genius Martin cooper is. He is more influential then Alexander belle

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 12:54

3. poophead (unregistered)


Why such a slow progression?

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 21:18 1

9. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)


Slow? How is it slow? The guy that invented the cell phone is still alive and now they do more than a home computer. The inventor of the landline has been long dead and we're still lucky to have affordable prices and caller ID on it. Cordless phones are still a luxury on landlines. Cell phones are hard to keep up with anymore. As soon as you unbox it the next best thing is just around the corner.

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 14:53 3

4. Sniggly (Posts: 6898; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


But...but...didn't Apple invent the cell phone? I could've sworn from the way Steve Jobs speaks about the iPhone...

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 15:26 1

5. downphoenix (Posts: 2299; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


surely this information was doctored by Motorola to make sure that Apple isn't credited with their creation.

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 17:07 2

6. Gawain (Posts: 351; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)


That was awesome. He uses an Android OS device as well as Jitterbug...Love it!! A very smart, "matter-of-fact" fellow.

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 21:10

7. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6327; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


I remember seeing his phone as a kid during the early 90's. SAVE BY THE BELL ZACK MORRIS HAVE THAT PHONE. The guy is a genius. if it wasn't for him. we wouldn't have device such as TOUCH SCREEN PHONES, Iphones, Android phones and so on. HE should take all the credit and millions of dollars since he invited the Wireless Phone. Just kidding bout the million of dollars

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 21:13

8. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)


Just so you all know, this video is sorta old. He may or may not use the device he speaks of. Not that it matters but I seen this video last year sometime. But it shows how spoiled we are on our phones. We complain that some new devices aren't equipped with LTE and 1Ghz quad-core processor, 3D screens, super fast graphics cards, able to go to work for you, and hook you up on a hot date. Dang, in the past it was amazing that you could walk down the street and talk on the phone. I mean, I remember just a few years ago it was big stuff to have a color screen. I like progress and I have a smartphone but we shouldn't get to ahead of ourselves. We have it good!

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 22:56

10. Gawain (Posts: 351; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)


Another perspective, a $3500 device in 1973 is about $18,000 dollars in 2010/2011. Crazy!!

posted on 05 Apr 2011, 01:46 3

11. Sniggly (Posts: 6898; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Actually had time to sit down and watch this video. Let's rewind and play those last couple of minutes again. Marty Cooper, the inventor of the cell phone, GAVE UP AN IPHONE FOR A DROID, AND LIKES THE DROID.

I want all of you iFanboys to chew on that for a while.

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