Evolution Of The Mobile Phone
The idea of evolution was made popular by a scientist and theorist Charles Darwin to explain the origin of living organisms. According to Drawing, complex living organisms, living organisms like man developed from simple minute life forms through slow but gradual increase in complexity over the years. Although Darwin used evolution in the context of living organisms, scrutiny of the historical development of mobile phones (or cell phones) reveal that it has equally undergone evolution , both functionally and structurally, over the years.
A mobile telephone is (or cell phone) a wireless device used to convey voice messages and information; it connects to the public through a telephone network (Ling 2). This is the definition that we can give it today. Originally telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell on March 10, 1876, in Boston, fashioned by Thomas Watson. It was made of wooden stand, a funnel, a cup of acid, and some copper wire. After being patented by Mr. Bell, the telephone never worked until three weeks later after Mr. Bell used ideas laid down by Mr. Gray. Elisha Gray also wanted to patent the Telephone, but was late in a matter of hours leaving it to Mr. Bell (Fagen 6). The history of telephone began long even before that, humans in their endeavors always wanted to relay information from afar off. Use of smoke signals, drums, carrier birds especially pigeons, mirrors and horns are ways that humans have tried to use in communication (Fagen 93).
Man was now able to communicate over long distances but the challenge came when he need to move from one place to another. The inconvenience of the telephone was that it had wire connection making it yet difficult to communicate with those travelling on water or by vehicles. Another reason was that it was an expensive exercise that needed cable, transmitters and receiver for it to work effectively. However in 1924 Bell Laboratory had already tested mobile telephone. Primitive mobile phones were there before World War II; these were designed two way radios for the government or industry (Brooks 41). The calls were fixed manually into the landline Telephone network.
After the World War II infrastructure was depleted and communication was greatly needed. Concentration by companies to provide landline phone and services was key but, by then, research and development in mobile radio was still being carried out. After the war the US remained physically intact, with the growth of Motorola Corporation and presence of scientists and radio engineers to use in creation of a mobile phone. The US had all it needed for mobile phone, on July 28, 1945; a cell radio was first exemplified in print. Soon, a two way radio service situated in western Bell began operating mobile telephone services. The Motorola Corporation radio installation was done by Bell systems (Brooks 55). The mobile telephone service was later modeled after an adoption design of a phone type known as dispatch radio. Such mobile phones had an antenna centrally located so as to ensure transmission of waves and information to mobiles a cross relatively wide area. These mobiles were modeled in a manner that they were car based ; that is, having the transmitter placed in the car boots and the receivers in the cab (Fagen 72). The system was bulky and used much electricity that the head lights of the car dimmed as one made calls.
In 1978 then came the introduction of the analog system, where the Bahrain Telephone Company (Batelco) began operating the first full fledged commercial mobile phone system. It comprised of simple two cell scheme that had 250 subscribers, operated on 20 channels in the 400 Mhz band, and used Panasonic. Then later in 1984 the first portable designed were made, they were big and heavy called the transportable. Then came the GSM phones these phones the abbreviations standing for Global System for Mobile Communications, this was in the 1982 done by European phone companies(Grosvenor and Morgan 5). By this time the GSM system covered a wider area and the phones were less bulky as compared to their predecessors. In march, 1990 the North American cell network adopted digital standard of mobile communication with the increase of demand of mobile phone there was a need to digitalize GSM which worked with existing mobile phone systems.
In August 1996, the communicator was introduced by Nokia Company. This was a more advanced phone with an inbuilt microcomputer. This phone had a more sophisticated key board, inbuilt software for word processing and writing, as well as calendar programs. Moreover, the phone was made in a manner that it could be used to send as well as receive fax, access internet, including e-mail (although in a limited way, in that one could not access bulky information from internet). However, this phone still had some limitations: its designers over concentrated on fine-tuning voice features at the expense of data-related features. Therefore, from this point, improvements were done on subsequent makes to rectify other viral features. By then, the speech aspects had been settled and focus now turned to data and network issues. Various researchers and technologists were striving to make a breakthrough in areas that still needed to be addressed and which received more of consumer attention.
Owing to internet commercialization in the mid 1990s, attention of mobile makers shifted to internet so as to entice the consumers with the products as well as to satisfy the customer demands by incorporating efficient internet features in phones that were being constructed. Graphical browsing features such as Netscape and Mosaic as well as the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) were now being built in phones. With improvements, other features such as blue tooth were being added. Meanwhile, changes were also occurring in terms of the sizes of phone makes. While the pioneer phones were quite big in size and heavy, the latter makes were gradually becoming smaller and lighter. A very advanced key board as well as other display features had developed tremendously.
Towards the end of 19th Century, landmark advancement with regards to cell phone circuitry was being undertaken. A laptop-kind of instrument was being built on phones, leading to the emergence of black berries. Black berries had varied and much more advanced applications, a more enhanced memory and could be used as a computer in a number of applications. The upcoming of Black Berries left people wondering precisely what a mobile phone was as it had obviously got out of communication domain to many other applications.
The mobile phone has not only become a vice communication device, but a, navigation device, eReader, security alarm, game console, telemetric and possible yet a host of new devices we haven’t even imagined yet. Consumers are communicating with email, instant messaging, twitter, facebook, video, VoIP, and a host of other social networking applications that use a mix of voice, video, and messaging. In the US, where over 60% of the consumer’s access mobile web and applications, the trends are more pronounced in the 18-29 age demographic. For example, over 92% of this young demographics regularly texts, 34% emails, and 34% does instant messaging, which is at approximately twice the national average. (Maren et. al. 23).
Mobile phones have now become a fundamental component of modern lifestyle. It is hard to imagine a life without one, in view of myriad of roles that they perform. It is a product that has undergone both structural and functional evolution. Starting from simple wire connection with some simple chemicals, in the mid-nineteenth century, phones have now become highly sophisticated electronic devices that a lay man would definitely not understand. Phones are no longer used solely for communication, but also for entertainment, security, alarming purposes, temperature detection, arithmetical operations, in timing as calendars and diaries; the list is endless. These are roles that were not envisaged in the earlier periods of the evolution of phones but have now become part and parcel of most cell phones.
Brooks, John. Telephone: The First Hundred Years. New York: Harper and Row, 1975 link http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=ioy4AAAAIAAJ&q=Telephone:+The+First+Hundred+Years&dq=Telephone:+The+First+Hundred+Years&hl=en&ei=szeQTfSoM429cciFvY8K&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA
Fagen, M.D., ed. “A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System.” The Early Years, 1875 -1925, Volume 1. New York: Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1975. http://science.jrank.org/pages/48873/Bell-Labs.html
Grosvenor, Edwin and Morgan, Wesson. Alexander Graham Bell: The Life and Times of the Man Who Invented the Telephone. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1997. http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=pA9HYJ7N2fkC&pg=PA104&dq=Alexander+Graham+Bell:+The+Life+and+Times+of+the++++++Man+Who+Invented+the+Telephone.&hl=en&ei=STmQTaTkE4zNsgbvlNWZCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Alexander%20Graham%20Bell%3A%20The%20Life%20and%20Times%20of%20the%20%20%20%20%20%20Man%20Who%20Invented%20the%20Telephone.&f=false
Ling, Richard ,S.: The Mobile Connection. San Francisco :Morgan Kaufmann, 2004. http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=oSwCQ6y6wq8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Mobile+Connection&hl=en&ei=UT-QTYCCCYnfsgaD-fjSAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
Maren, Pathartmann et. al. After the mobile phone. Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2008. http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=2dEZYSG6zcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=After+the+mobile+phone&hl=en&ei=3jqQTZ6bKMz4sgagz4iVCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false