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.
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.