Once the cordless phone was invented, it was only a matter of a few short years before the mobile phone came to be. Surprisingly, the cell phone research began back in 1947. So, why did it take so long for the cell phone to make its debut? You can blame the United States’ Federal Communications Commission.
The United States’ FCC and Regulations Slow Progress
The FCC regulates airwaves in the United States. Cordless and cellular phones use the airwaves, putting them under the regulation of the FCC. In 1947, AT&T proposed that the FCC allocated specific frequencies so that mobile phone service could be researched. The FCC responded by allowing only enough frequencies to support 23 conversations at any given moment. This did not make for great research incentives.
Twenty Unproductive Years
It took twenty years for the FCC to reconsider its position. In 1968, it stated that if technology for mobile service worked, they would increase the number of frequencies allowed, opening the airwaves for more mobile phones.
The First Cell Phone Call is to a Rival–Making History
In 1973, Dr. Martin Cooper made the first phone call from a portable handset. He chose to make this historic phone call to his rival, Joel Engel, the head of research at Bell Labs. Bell Labs was the first company to introduce the idea of cell phones back in 1947. Motorola was the first to use the technology in a portable device that could be used outside of a car.
Cell Phones and Canada
Although the mobile phone was invented in the 1970’s, it wasn’t until the later 1990’s that mobile phones hit mass markets in Canada. By 2014, the number of cell phone subscribers is well over 27 million, and that number is continually growing. Though it may have gotten a late start, Canada has certainly embraced the mobile phone.