Cell Phone Technology
Historical Trends of Cell Phone Technology
Mobile phone technology has evolved in a series of stages that have eventually led to the product we use today. Technology started from wire connections, but by 1940s, during the Second World War, the military invented the methods to communicate from one base to another without using any wire connections. The early devices were bulky, consumed much power and could only handle a limited amount of conversations at a time. The first mobile phone was used in 1946 after the technology had been developed over a period of 10 years (Farley, 2007). The technology could be divided into several stages from 0G services to the current 4G services.
The 0G Stage
This was the first step where cell phone technology was commercialized as mobile telephone service. It was used in over 100 towns in the US as well as inside their highway corridors. There were about 5000 customers who used to place about 30000 calls a week. These calls were controlled by an operator. The second phase of 0G saw the introduction of Improved Mobile Telephone service, which allowed people to place calls at the same time with one conversation not affecting the other. The system was used by about 400,000 customers in the United States. At this point, one used to wait for half an hour to place an agent regulated call. The third phase saw the introduction of the Radio Common Carrier in the 1960s where corporate bodies used MHz and VHF frequencies to communicate (Farley, 2007). The major limitation of these RCCs was that there were geographical barriers, where some devices could stop working when moved far away from their usual area of operations.
At this stage, the devises used were analogue and used in the United States from 1978. They then moved to Israel and Australia in 1886 and 1987 respectively (Agar, 2004). The main technology that was used at this point was the Advanced Mobile Phone System. The main disadvantage of this technology was the ease of access by third parties through the use of scanners. This technology was then discarded after the digital version of AMPS was introduced in 1990.
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2G stage followed the earlier Digital-AMPS. It was contested by Europeans and Americans, where Americans developed a CDMA standard while Europeans developed GSM standards. The frequencies in Europe were higher than the ones that were used in the US. There were overlaps in the technology used in the 1G and 2G systems (Agar, 2004). The race to supremacy in the mobile phone industry led to the emergence of prepaid cell phone services. At this stage, new services such as SMS were introduced as well as media content such as songs and sounds. This followed the introduction of the provision for download and upload in the cell phones. In 1999, Internet services were launched on mobile phones in Japan.
This followed the mobile broadband data. People started to see the importance of using mobile phones in their activities, and the need to feed the devices with data that could be later downloaded (Agar, 2004). 2G was improved and additions were made to ease the use of the services. The cost of making calls was then significantly reduced. Companies started to embrace the technology, and there were more countries that took up the systems in the trial states. The rate of data transmission improved to reach about 307 kbits/s and an EDGE system was introduced to house all these developments. Later, in mid 2000, newer and faster technologies within the 3G system were introduced and HSPA was put to task. It was later improved to HSPA+ and had the ability of Internet speeds of 42 Mbit/s. By 2007, cell phone devices could be connected to PCs through USB ports (Farley, 2007). It could also be connected to Wi-Fi and download loads of data at the same time. It could also be used to communicate easily from regions all over the world without delays.
It is the latest version that is in use since 2009. It was developed to accommodate the overgrowing bandwidth intensity such as media streaming (Agar, 2004). It could be circuit switched instead of using IP networks.
Future Direction and Roadmap of Cell Phone Technology
With the increasing rate of improvement and innovations in technology, we expect that there will be a highly significant effect on cell phone technology. Since 2000, there have been revolutions that have led to highly improved cell phone with increased features that are all geared towards the comfort of the users (Agar, 2004). The means of communication have evolved from one-way communication where one person could only speak at a time. Today, cell phones have incorporated Internet use that has led to live streaming of occurrences, such as soccer and other gaming events. Some of the innovations that are expected to be experienced in the near future are discussed. Cell phones are increasing their efficiency as they are being used as mini-computers. Some new phones such as Androids are expected to increase the rate of innovation as they try to win the market over their rivals. Some of the competitors include Samsung, Apple, Nokia and many others.
Phones are being used for many purposes. Like computers, there is a high possibility that they will be used to perform duties that were otherwise performed by computers. Since they have incorporated issues such as the Internet and MP3 and video entertainment, they are expected to use other software such as video conferencing using the Internet (Hunt, 2011). Furthermore, the phones will reach a point where they will start using hand gestures to recognize the information that a person wants to convey. This will be an innovation that could include dumb people in the usage of mobile phones since they currently do not have any provisions for the same.
The screen will probably get improved and the 3D technology will be incorporated more than it has been used today. It could be used to increase the quality of images on the screen as well as increase their resolution and retina display (Hunt, 2011). This will lead to the reduced use of glasses on screens. On the same note, we might experience new forms of screen that are flexible. This would mean that there would arise a probability of having a large screen that could then be folded and placed in the pocket once its use has been accomplished. This would then lead to the other forms and designs of cell phones (Hunt, 2011).
Since there is an increased speed of cell phone processors, there are other features that would develop due to this. Cell phones will be able to accommodate more menus than we have today as well as several networks, such as WiMax and Wi-Fi, among others, being used in the same cell phone simultaneously (Arar, 2006). Moreover, new features such as cameras will be added with better resolutions and better image processing capabilities. Finally, new cell phones will allow users to change from one network to another by enabling seamless access to the Internet. This will see data voice calls and HTML in use (Arar, 2006). We can therefore conclude that cell phones are just getting started. More is yet to come.