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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.

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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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