Invention & Adoption


The mobile phone may be seen as a new technology in our day, but the idea was actually first conceived in the year 1908. This statement is only true because the mobile phone is actually a high-tech radio. In 1908 a man named Nathan B. Stubblefield who lived in Murray, Kentucky applied for the U.S. Patent 887,357 for a wireless telephone; he originally applied his patent to only radio telephones. But by doing this he only meant to create a telephone that could operate with strings. [1] The police department was the next to advance this technology by adding a feature which allowed officers to communicate while they were still in their cars. The concept of translating this technology into a phone was not thought of until the year 1947 by the Bell Telephone Company laboratories. Many attempts were made to get this technology working for the public, but nothing that was produced actually worked. [2] Finally in 1973 a man named Martin Cooper and his associates effectively masted the portable mobile phone. They used the technology of the police radio and applied it to the technology of the day to make the first working portable mobile phone. [3]

Martin Cooper did not make the first working mobile phone, he made the first portable mobile phone. Inthe past the phones that were being produced either did not work well, needed a power source that was not portable or they were to large for the average person to carry around comfortably. The product that Martin Cooper invented was titled the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. Though this phone is ugly, bulky and unrealistic according to today standards, at the time of its invention it was seen as revolutionary. [4] What made this phone stand apart from all other past inventions other then portability was that it was the first mobile telephone which could connect to the telephone network without the assistance of a mobile operator. This phones’ popularity was seen around the world, but even though it was consumer friendly it was still very expensive to own. This was the first portable mobile phone to be accepted by the Federal Communications Commission which allowed it to go into production. [5]                                                                                                                                                                                                            (PIC 1)

So now the question is how does the DynaTAC 8000X phone actually work. Basically, the mobile phone is a radio; it relies on a radio signal in order to transmit and receive voice and data information. Cell phones operate on what is called a duplex system which uses two different frequencies to broadcast calls. [6] One is used for talking or sending, and the other is used for listening or receiving. This is what distinguishes a basic radio from mobile phones. These phones can use up to but not limited to 1,664 channels. Overall the the mobile phone is a highly sophisticated radio and without the constant advancements from 1908 to 1973 this technology would not exist. [7]

(PIC 2)



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Mobile phones are a very accepted accessory these days but this is not how the cell phone revolution began. When cell phones were first marketed to the public, many did not pick up on the technology. This may be in direct result to the price that the mobile phones were first listed as. The phone was way too expensive for the masses to buy; as well as the plan for the phone. Today we live in a world where if one would like a new phone it easy to go out to a store and get a plan with a decent phone. It is hard to imagine a world where a store like this did not exist. [8]

The mobile phone was originally a fashion statement for celebrities and television shows during its debut; they were the only ones who could afford to use the technology. Plus the phone was very large and impracticable to carry around for the average person. Once the technology began to evolve, phones became smaller. This then began to appeal to the masses as they saw the practicality of owning a mobile phone. Once the technology became cheaper, the public began to buy the new emerging models. As people began to see how efficient this technology actually was, the market for the mobile phone eventually evolved into what we know it as today. [9]       


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