Wireless Technology History: The Importance of Wireless Technologies in Modern Business Applications

Published: 16th October 2008
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It's no secret that wireless technology has become the standard for capacitating communication, entertainment and education across the planet today. In today's societies, businesses would go under in the blink of an eye without it. Wireless technologies are at the very core of our existence - so much so that we have become dependent upon them in immeasurable ways. But where did it all come from? Let's take a closer look.

The 1800s:

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. By the end of 1889, there were almost 50,000 telephones in use in the US alone. 19 years later, Italian inventor, Guglielmo Marconi sent, and received, the first radio signal across the English Channel.

The 1900s:

Things started moving quickly, and by 1903, the first international wireless conference transpired in Berlin, Germany. In 1921, the Detroit Police began utilizing unidirectional radio messaging and by 1941, the Motorola Company supplied 2-way radios for police cruisers nationwide. Wireless technologies continued to be researched and developed and by 1966, AT&T's Improved Mobile Telephone Service (IMTS) did away with the necessity to push a button to talk. The same technology initiated automatic dialing. In 1972, a patent was granted to Bell Labs for their Mobile Communications System. That wireless technology capacitated handoffs between cell phones.

The 80s brought wireless technologies to the forefront of public consciousness. In 1983, the world's first standardized cellular service, Advanced Mobile Phone Services (AMPS), was implemented. It utilized a 800 to 900 MHz frequency to transmit signals. In 1984, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) was founded. There were 100 cellular systems across America in 1985 and by 1986, there were over 1000. That same year, the cellular subscription rate topped the 2 million mark. 1987 was the first year that the cellular industry ever grossed over 1 billion in revenue. And in 1989, Motorola released the first flip-top cell phone to the public. It retailed for a mere $3000.

US cellular subscription rates topped 5 million in 1990 when Nextel set up a nationwide series of transmission stations that allowed the top 6 providers to share towers. By 1992, there were over 10,000 cellular sites across America and subscriptions passed the 10 million mark. At the time that the Telecommunications Act was signed into law in 1996, there were over 38 million cell phones in use in the US alone. In 1999, with over 60 million cell phones in use across the US, Congress passed both the Wireless Communications and the Public Safety Acts.

The 2000s:

2000 was the first year that digital outnumbered analog subscriptions and there were then over 100 million wireless phones in use in the US alone. 2000 also saw the first camera phones released in the Japanese market. By 2004, the US cellular subscription rate passed the 180 million mark. BlueTooth technologies soon followed and brought us to the point that we stand at today.

There is no doubting the incredible impact that wireless technologies have had on both business and personal applications. Military battles, police logistics, corporate mergers, Mom-and-Pop grocers and even the vast majority of school children are all heavily dependent upon their cellular devices for their success and connections to society. Of course, the future will continue to forge further advancements in the wireless technology realms as well - a far cry from the recently-past days of life on Walton's Mountain.


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