Beginning in 1926, telephony was first used on first-class trains between Berlin and Hamburg, Germany. The technology spread to the airline industry and eventually to the German military. It wasn't until 1950 that a typical consumer was permitted to use the technology, however. Motorola was the first company to come up with the concept of the "Walkie-Talkie"
From there, mobile telephony continued to develop. The idea of mobile phones became very popular socially. The first instance of a car phone was exposed in the 1954 movie "Sabrina," which featured Humphrey Bogart taking a call from the back of his limousine. 1964 saw the first true mobile car phone which did not require the use of a push-to-talk telephone operator and customers could dial others directly from their cars. In 1971, AT&T introduced the concept of dividing cities into "cells" to help develop networks. The idea was pitched to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the reality of mobile phones finally became a reality.
Motorola's "Dyna-Tac" is credited as the first portable mobile phone with its own personal handset. It weighed 28 ounces and was 13 x 1.75 x 3.5 inches in dimension. One of the first "cells" is assigned to Chicago and mobile phone networking testing begins, despite FCC resistance. The 1980's saw the first big consumer boom of cellular phones and car phones were routinely installed in cars. Aside from car phones, the first real portable cell phones were the size of tote bags and carried as such.
During the 1990's, networks were routinely being switched from analog to digital. Cell phone designs continued to improve as well. This second generation of cell phones, known as "2G," was much smaller, weighing no more than 200 grams. Text messaging starts to break out as the latest and most sought-after technology.
Today's phones, members of the 3G and 4G networks, have developed into an explosion of technology, applications and convenience. Japan introduced the first internet-enabled phone in 1999. By 2006, 2.5 billion people were carrying cell phones. The first iPhone was introduced in 2007, some saying it forever changed the landscape of mobile telephony. Smartphone sales are slated to constantly increase over the next decade as mobile applications become more popular among cell phone users. Only time will tell how the mobile phone industry will advance and evolve as the history of mobile telephony reveals a fascination evolution from the first Walkie-Talkie's to today's most advanced smartphones.
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