The first cell phone was developed by Martin Cooper in 1973 who was then a Motorola researcher and executive manager. The handheld subscriber equipment measured 1.75 inches wide, 5 inches deep and 9 inches long (Agar, 2004). It weighed 2.5 pounds and offered only 30 minutes of talk time. This mobile phone also took about 10 hours to recharge. Although the cellular phone was ineffective, it set a good pace for the development of mire effective mobile phones as innovations became more immense in 1980s. In 1981, Nordic Mobile Telephone System was developed in Norway and Sweden. This led to the first generation of mobile phone system. Osten Makitalo played a significant role in the development of these first generation mobile phone systems, and he was referred to as the father of mobile telephone. The Nordic Mobile Telephone System (NMT) was the mother of all cell phones because it was the first modern mobile phone system. Other mobile phones that emerged after 1980s were just copies of the original NMT system. The first commercial mobile phone was sold by Motorola in 1983 in form of DynaTAC 8000X (Goggin, 2011). This mobile phone offered 30 minutes of talk time and 8-hours standby time.
My interest in conducting research in the innovation of mobile phones is to identify the various transitions that mobile phone technology went through from its introduction in 1973 to the current period where SmartPhones, Ipads and Androids provide high-speed internet and other enhanced features (Goggin, 2011). In the past, the stand-by time of mobile phones was small compared to the current period. Furthermore, cell phones in the past were large and difficult to carry compared to the current small and easy to carry mobile phones. The current mobile phones are also enhanced with other features such apart from calling receiving calls which were the main functions of the first cell phones. Today, mobile phones are enhanced with other features such as Camera, Radio, high-speed internet, games and music applications.
My preliminary research shows that mobile phones have taken a long process from the unreliable mobile phones developed by Motorola in 1980s to the current SmartPhones provided by various vendors such as Samsung and Apple. With improved technology, there is also a room for improvement of the current mobile phones to include more features and add more value to mobile phone technology.
In their early years of introduction into the market, mobile phones were expensive, unreliable and had few features. By 1991, 2G cellular technology was introduced in Finland by Radiolinia. This increased competition in the cellular phone market and the first generation (1G) network operators were challenged through competition. Continued competition led to increased innovation by companies; hence resulting in development of new models of cellular phones with more enhanced features and higher reliability levels. This led to the introduction of third generation (3G) mobile phones in 2001). The 3G format was developed by NIT DoCoMo of Japan. This was followed by 3.5G and 3G+ networks (Farley, 2007). These new networks were enhanced with better high-speed packet access. The new mobile technologies also resulted in high-speed transfer of data through mobile devices in early 2000s. As a result of innovation and increased internet access, many people started to use the 3G mobile devices, which were later overwhelmed by applications such as streaming media which carried bandwidth – intensive applications. This prompted companies to optimize data using 4G technologies.
As technology changes and innovations continue to bring about new mobile devices, mobile manufacturers should innovate and create new mobile phones which can store large data to act as back-up devices while at the same time allowing the transfer of larger amount of data across companies and the world at large.
Agar, J. (2004). Constant Touch: a Global History of the Mobile Phone. Cambridge: Icon
Farley, T. (2007). The Cell-Phone Revolution. American heritage of invention & technology, 22 (3), 8–19.
Goggin, G. (2011). Global Mobile Media. New York: Routledge.
Hachenburg, V., Holm, B.D., and Smith, J.I. (1977). Data signaling functions for a cellular mobile telephone system. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology 26, 82.