It’s hard to imagine how people managed to run their lives before cell phones. It’s good to know you can get hold of your family whenever you need them, although sometimes you might wish it wasn’t so easy for them to get hold of you.
You might have seen clunky 1980s mobile phones the size and weight of a house brick. But did you know mobiles have been around since 1947?
The first cell phone system was introduced in Saint Louis in 1946 by US telecom companies AT&T and Southwestern Bell. This radio-telephone system operated in cars, and a similar one for use on the road between Boston and New York was introduced a year later. Both systems used a single transmitter and both found that there was a lot of interference.
In 1947 Bell Laboratories came up with the idea for a cellular system, instead of using one large transmitter, each small area had its own low-powered one. This solved the interference problem.
A cellular mobile phone network wasn’t up and running for another thirty years. In the USA this delay was caused by strict regulation on radio frequencies set by the government. In 1978, Chicago had the world’s first.
Europe’s first cellular mobile phones were introduced in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway in 1981. Britain followed in 1985. At first it was easy to eavesdrop on other people’s calls, and criminals were able to make calls using genuine customers’ accounts. Secure networks have been around since the early 1990s.
Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone in 1876, also invented an early metal-detecting device. The story goes that when US President Garfield was shot in 1881, Bell used his metal detector to search for the bullet.
How skilled are you with your cell phone?
Short Messaging Service ISMS) competitions are held to find the fastest text messager on the planet. The current world record holder is Ang Chuang Yang from Singapore. He typed 160 characters in 41.52 seconds.
How fast do you think you are? See how fast you can type the message that the Guinness Book of Records officials asked him to type:
The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.
What do the following abbreviations mean?
KOTL LOL SOHF EOD FYEO GAL KISS
Some cell phone ringtones are so annoying that you want to throw the phone as far away as possible. Well, you won’t be surprised to hear that mobile phone throwing competitions have been held all over the world since 2000, when the first phone throwing contest was held in Finland.
The current world record for the furthest a mobile phone has been thrown is 94.97 m for a man and 53.52 m for a woman.