Is your phone smart? 1G to 4G

There are an enormous number of mobile devices in the world.  According to some statistics, the world population is almost equivalent to the number of phones out there!

What do we need to know about mobile phones and their development?

In some countries they are called cell phones; others call them mobile phones.  Regardless of the name, the technology was first developed in the late 1940s.  At that time most phones were operated from vehicles, and ‘car phones’ had become a reality.

However, in 1973, Motorola introduced the first handheld mobile device.  They were big, and today are known as brick phones – they looked like large building bricks.

The Generations

1G – An analogue phone system that was initially introduced in the USA in 1978.

2G – The second generation technology became available in the 1990s.  By this time there were two networks operating.  One, CDMA from the USA, and the other, GSM, from Europe.

3G– Once the use of the internet and data downloads became popular, a new system was needed.  In 2001 3G was launched in Japan.  Only 8 years later, it was obvious the 3G networks would not be able to manage the huge amounts of data and the number of mobile devices being used around the world.

4G – 4G was developed in 2009, and this new technology allowed for transmitting speeds that were 10 times faster than those previously available.

Mobile phones have come a long way.  They are no longer used solely for phone calls.  3G allowed phones to combine the phone service with many capabilities we find in a computer, including internet access.

Some call 1G and 2G the ‘dumb phones’ because of their limited capabilities; but even those mobile devices had come a long way from the old ‘brick phone’.

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