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History of Cell Phone

Updated on October 20, 2012
The invention of hexagonal cells in 1947, cell phones were born.
The invention of hexagonal cells in 1947, cell phones were born. | Source

Communication Technology

Radio technology helped initiated the birth of cell phones. Cell technology was seen in 1940’s where taxi drivers, police officers were able to communicate with one another. The phone was not very durable and could make about six phone calls before the car’s battery would die off.

D.H. Ring from Bell Labs created hexagonal cells in 1947. That created the base for today’s cell phone technology. Another engineer of Bell Labs came up with a theory of installing cell towers that would transmit and receive signals in three directions instead of two.

By 1960’s cell phone technology was available for use, but the phones had to remain within a single cellular base station area since the base stations were not able to exchange calls between base stations.

However, another engineer from Bell named, Amos Edward Joel, came up with the idea of call handoff system. This technology could permit a call be made between many cell base stations.

DynaTAC 8000X cellular phone
DynaTAC 8000X cellular phone | Source

Creation of Cell Phones

The hexagonal cellphones created by D.H. Ring were large size and had limited range thus; Motorola introduced a DynaTAC 8000X cellular phone to the world. This phone was lightweight and weighed 28 ounces. It was the shape of a brick and compact was developed with the help of Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola.

As the cellular technology was gaining momentum, Analog network came into existence. 1980’s were an era where cellphones were becoming popular. In those days, cell phones were not versatile to be carried around, but were installed in the car and were used via the DC outlet.

Cell Phones revolutionized from generation to generation.

In the 1990’s came the era of digital network where the network signal was faster and there was good call quality. Digital network became more prevalent thus; making the analog network obsolete. Cell phones during this era were smaller in size as compared to the 1980’s and weighed between 100-200 grams with a portable battery. This made cell phones popular in various continents namely: North America, Europe, and Asia.

2000’s era is considered the third generation (3G) for cellphone technology. 3G phones include the ability to SMS text, surf the Internet, and have access to emails. WiFi and streaming video support has also been included in the new phones such as Android, iPhones.

Cell Phone Design has evolved with time from 1980's to the present. Its functionality has increased with each generation. This link will take you on a journey where many models of cell phones came into the market and became a part of the life of consumers.

Cell phone timeline takes us back to the 1800’s era where radio technology was born and how this baby took positive steps towards the birth of cellular technology, which has opened doors to fourth and fifth generation of cell phones for the consumers to come!


With so many cell phone providers in the market, consumers need to know which one to choose for themselves or their family. Below link will help you make the right choice with regards to your needs and the phone that you use.

new york city:
New York, NY, USA

get directions

First cell phone call was placed from the streets of New York City by Martin Cooper on April 3rd, 1973

Technology has come a long way. Are you proud of man's achievements till date?

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    • Sunni's Style profile image

      Sunshine A Conkey 

      2 years ago from CA

      I have no phone. No cell phone & no landline. I live just fine with only a tablet.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      On the On 3 April 1973 was the first invention of the cell phone and now so many new features.

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks Lemonkerdz, Vinaya, Susan, Rahul, prasetio, idigwebsites, Shasta.

      I was also intrigued by how man has advanced so far.

    • lemonkerdz profile image


      8 years ago from LIMA, PERU

      Interesting hub, i remember my yuppie friend turning up to a car auction and being the envy of many, sat there with a house brick of a cell phone and a breezeblock of a battery to along with it. How things have changed.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      8 years ago from Nepal


      Cell phone technology was introduced in Nepal in the new Millennium. It was so expensive that I never thought I could own a cell phone. Today every kind of handsets are available and within the reach of middle class.

      Thanks for sharing the history.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi Ruchira,

      It was very interesting to read about the history of the cell phone. We are so dependent on our cell phones these days. This is not necessarily a good thing.

      Voted up and interesting

      Take care :)

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 

      8 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      The History of cell phones is intriguing and the pace of the process rapid... I mean exponential...

      I believe some day cell phones will get us rid of watches, cameras, mp3 players and who knows... with the tablets these days... laptops might become endangered too!

      The Cell phone has been a revolution in the communication sectors throughout the world... the biggest yet I believe..

      They have influenced every other consumer market.

      Interesting hub Ruchira

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub. I really enjoy reading the history of cellphones through this hub. Many of us need this stuff. Even every of my student has cellphone. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!


    • idigwebsites profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      The Dyna Tac is too thick and looks heavy indeed... and from that cellphones have evolved into thinner and multi-functional smartphones. I love reading this hub and looking at the cellphone timeline. :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      8 years ago from USA

      This is really interesting - thanks for the history lesson. They were so huge! I had a pager when cell phones were coming out. My cell phone timeline would be pretty boring, since I don't change phones very often. Unfortunately the one I use is not too different from the 2001 one. Voted up!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks Christy.I am glad you liked the timeline. It sure is enchanting to see that man has come a long way...cheers!

      Thanks dobo700. Yes, man has progressed :)

    • dobo700 profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      Very interesting, how quickly we forget how large they used to be.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      How interesting to read about the origins of the cell phone. The timeline photo shows how streamlined the design has become. Who knows what will happen in the future design-wise! I vote up and sharing too.

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      thanks Tammy. Yes, the impression of having a handy tool for help is pretty cool. Man is smart huh :)

      thanks dwachira. yes, man has come a long way and we all should be proud of ourselves :) cheers, my friend!

      thanks nell. I admire you woman! You have moderated the usage and that is so cool. Hub hugs!!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      thanks Maria. I am glad you liked the above...hub hugs to you!

      thanks midget38. I am glad you also went on this journey of cell phones :) thanks for the share, my friend.

      thanks ruby. I am glad you found the above useful. Yes, man has come a long way :) cheers!

      thanks dianna. yes, i started using a phone for security reasons but unfortunately am getting addicted to it esp the Apps. Gotta moderate it myself. Appreciate you stopping by...cheers!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      thanks dahoglund. I am happy toknow that you use your phone only when necessity strikes. I admire you and you are grounded my friend!

      thanks nancy. I am glad you found the above useful inspite of you not using the are a balanced lady, my friend!

      thanks keith. yes, man has come a long way :)

      thanks shiningirisheyes. yes, 1947 was an era when india got independence and who would have known that man would be taking a giant leap towards technology :)

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks Audrey. I am glad I could entice you with this information...cheers!

      Thanks Mary. Yes, not aware how our future will shape up to :) Thanks for stopping by.

      thanks Nithya. I am glad you found this useful :)

      thanks Denise. Yes, we sure have come a long way :)

      thanks mhatter. I am glad you have escaped this race of phones...3 cheers to that :)

      thanks ishwaryaa. I am glad you found the above useful. Yes, we have come a long way. Man sure is smart :)

      thanks Rajan. Yes, earlier phones were big thus, mostly used in the cars. Man is smart to down size it :)

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks Bill. Appreciate you stopping by.

      Thanks Susan. Yes, dunno what the future holds for us. We will wait and watch what the tech gurus have in store :) thanks!

      Thanks Terry. I am glad I was able to clear off your doubts ;)

      Thanks Paula. You are right...Ring and inventing phones..what a coincidence :) There is no limit to how we use our technology. We could become chained by

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi Ruchira, love your phone history, isn't it amazing how far the cell phone, or mobile phone as we call it over here, has come on like it has. I tend to still use the old fashioned one, just for calls, I am not one of the new technology with web pages etc, I just literally use them for convenience, great history, and fascinating too, voted up! nell

    • dwachira profile image

      Danson Wachira 

      8 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi Ruchira,

      I must say you did take us many years back on telephony. I remember when the hype for cellphones hit Kenya and the phones were so big they could not fit in a pocket, then they became smaller and smaller in size. Cellphones are the in thing now and i would not imagine life without my cellphone. Great article, voted up and useful.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      8 years ago from North Carolina

      This is a fun hub! I remember when car phones came out and thinking they were the neatest things. Sharing!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      Ruchira, my hubby gave me a cell when they first came out for security reasons since I traveled. It was huge and heavy! Now, they are much smaller and lighter, but I hear that they are once again increasing in size due to the app congestion and the screen size options. Great history on the cell phone.. the 60's seems like so long ago.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      What would i do without my cell phone? How did we manage to function without one? HaHa..Great history concerning the cell phone. I had no idea they were around that long ago..Thank's Ruchira..

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      A great revolution!! I remember my first cell phone, a Philips Savvy. It was big and heavy! Then I started getting flip phones and now use an iPhone. Interesting changes! Thanks for the write, which I share!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      What a fascinating evolution ... I especially loved the picture through the years.

      Voted UP and UABI...very well written. Hugs, Maria

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Who would have thought cell phone options were around in 1947!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Huh, very interesting! I knew they were working on cellphones in the 80's, but not as back in the 1960's. Very interesting how our technology advanced! Very useful information :)

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I am the one person who refuses to use a cell phone. But I still loved you hub.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      This is interesting because we are still behind in technology and only have a cheap cell phone to take on trips etc.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Very interesting history about cell phones, Ruchira. Those earlier day cell phones look so big and unwieldy today. Wonder now how people used to carry them around.

      Voted up & interesting.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      8 years ago from Chennai, India

      An extremely engaging & well-researched hub! You clearly explained the evolution of cellphones from the 1940s till today. I remembered that my father bought several different cellphone models over the years. Once again, a well-written & knowledgeable hub! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up, pinned & socially shared both on HubPages and Facebook

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing this fascinating hidtory. I, myself, have successfully escaped the cell phone.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow-bravo for you for your research. Very interesting and the size! Boy have things improved. LOL Rated up/I

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      8 years ago from Dubai

      A great reflection on the journey of the cellphone from how it began to the present day. An interesting and well researched hub. Voted up and shared.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Very informative and interesting Hub. I wonder what the cell phones of tomorrow will look like and perform?? Will be interesting, won't it??

      I voted this Hub UP, and will share.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Ruchira - Thank you for this very interesting history of the Cell Phone. I really enjoyed reading about this. Great topic. Up, useful, interesting and awesome. Sharing!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      8 years ago from Carson City

      Ruchira......D.H."RING??" from Dell labs...lmao... I spotted that and found it funny........What a perfect name for a guy who designed a PHONE!......I found this hub very interesting and educational, Ruchira. I know that the cell phones of today are absolutely amazing and much more than just phones! Maybe one day, I'll decide to have one of those that does EVERYTHING except wash your windows!!

      Right now, because we have a home/business phone....we only use simple Trac-fones for travel........UP+++

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      8 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I'm with Frank...I thought we got this from Star Trek like the space shuttle! :) Great job, Ruchira! Loved it!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've had a few of the cells phones that are on the picture of the cell phone time line and I always loved that Motorola. Phones have sure come a long way. Who knows what they'll look like in ten years from now.....will they be big or will they go back to the smaller ones again? Should be interesting.

      Great hub!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      Wow, Larry. You sure made history by reading and commenting this hub of mine.

      It feels good to get a stamp of approval for the above :) Cheers!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks Frank. sure, star trek always struck me with those techy gadgets and look how far have we reached :)


    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United States

      Hi Carol,

      Yes, surprisingly we are unfolding a new era with regards to technology and it was a good study/observation for me as well :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting Ruchira! Of course, a history teacher is going to love this Hub, but you did a great job of research on it. Well done!

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 

      8 years ago

      I enjoyed the history. I was around when the cell phone craze started. The first ones, as you noted were large with a limited range and battery life, plus the usage charge was tremendous. That is when they started "giving the phone for free" if you signed a two-year contract, then they introduce a new model every 18 months, so you are hooked for life.

      Regarding for Frank Atanacio said, the cell phone has long surpassed the communicator. Those things only work within the space craft or from the surface to the ship. Cell phones take you around the world, and probably do most everything that the old Tri-Corders from Star Trek days use to do.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      8 years ago from Shelton

      this was actually kind of fun.. I always thought we got the idea from Star Trek.. I really did.. they had those communicators that looked like the 1990 cell phones.. thank you Ruch for this bit of History.. should be fun hub of th e day :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      I enjoyed learning about cellphones and the photos are amazing..Wow have things changed. Great hub... Voting up


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