July 28, 2021

The mobile phone turns 75 years old, turned into an extension of our body


A Mobile phone.

A Mobile phone.
Shutterstock

On June 17, 1946, a driver in St. Louis, Missouri, opened the dashboard of his car, took out a headset, and performed the first wireless call. 75 years later, mobile phone is inherent in our lives, an extension of the human arm.

The evolution throughout these more than seven decades of history has not always been linear, but rather technology was “wasted” for many years, and it was not until the 1990s that mobile telephony really took off and its use began to become widespread, with the great explosion at the turn of the century.

By then fifty years had passed since that first call inside that car in San Luis, which was made with a phone so bulky that weighed 36 kilos and took up the entire trunk, in addition to consuming practically the entire vehicle battery.

If the team had little ‘mobile’, the wireless network that allowed the call was also far from the ones we currently know: the electromagnetic spectrum assigned was so small that it only allowed three calls at the same time from the same city, and the subscription The service cost $ 15 a month, the equivalent of nearly $ 200 today.

Thus, for decades, the only clients of this service were companies that really benefited from being able to communicate from anywhere, such as transport companies or media, but for individuals it hardly made sense to contract such an expensive product.

In the 1970s, the American telecommunications company Motorola designed what was dubbed the “shoe phone”, a large device that weighed more than a kilo, but that it could already be held with one hand and it was beginning to look much more like the mobiles that gained popularity at the turn of the century.

The iPhone arrives

After the year 2000, cell phones also began to shelter the internet, thus giving birth to the smart phones of BlackBerry Y Nokia, among others, until the arrival in 2007 of iPhone from Apple, which forever revolutionized the market and made it the one we know today.

According to the most recent figures compiled by the specialized company Statista, the telecommunications market entered the world in more than one trillion euros in 2019, with the fastest growing area located in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mobile telephony is so common today around the world that the global number of subscriptions to telecommunications services (8,300 million) is higher than that of the total population (7,800 million), a phenomenon that is explained because the same person can have several telephone lines contracted (one personal and another for work, for example).

Yes In developed countries such as the United States and Western Europe, the great ‘boom’ of mobile telephony occurred about ten years agoIn other parts of the world such as Africa and Southeast Asia, growth figures have exploded in the past five years, in which, for example, countries such as Cameroon, Kenya and the Philippines have experienced double-digit annual increases.

Among all the telemarketers, the US companies stand out for their volume of business, taking the first, second and fourth places in the world with AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, respectively.

Only China Mobile manages to sneak into the third place, and from the fifth position the national origin already diversifies more, with the Japanese NTT and Softbank, the German Deutsche Telekom, the Chinese China Telecom, the Spanish Telefónica -ninth place in the world- and the Mexican América Móvil -enth position global-.

In the coming years, mobile telephony is set to experience a new golden age with the market penetration of the very high-speed 5G network, which some devices already incorporate and which, according to industry experts, will make the phone even more inseparable from the human arm.

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