Mark Bridge writes:
Today is the 40th anniversary of what’s often called the first ever mobile phone call.
It was 3rd April 1973 when Marty Cooper of Motorola stood in front of a crowd of reporters in New York and used a handheld mobile phone to call the fixed-line phone of Dr Joel Engel, one of his commercial rivals.
However, this wasn’t the first mobile or wireless telephone call. Mr Cooper’s conversation has been described more accurately as the first public call on a handheld cellular telephone. In-car phones had been around in the USA since the 1940s - and in the UK from 1959 - although these required an operator to connect calls and couldn’t easily be called from other telephones.
The modern ‘cellular network’, which made it easier for networks to re-use radio channels, was launched in Japan in 1979. It came to Europe in 1981 and was introduced to the UK by Vodafone and BT Cellnet in 1985.
Other key dates for the mobile industry were the introduction of GSM ‘2G’ digital phones in 1991, leading to the first ever text message being sent in December 1992.
Today’s certainly an anniversary worth remembering - but it’s not the birthday of the mobile phone!
[More details: Wikipedia history of mobile phones]