Following, are extracts from  "TELEPHONE talk"

(from the 1990's Chapter which includes Mobiles) Milestones – 

1993 - - The first digital mobile network is established in the U.S. (Los Angeles)

1993 - Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) established for reliable transmission over the Internet in conjunction with the Transport Control Protocol (TCP), commonly called TCP-IP .

1993 - - Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH ) is introduced into the UK transmission network to carry Internet Protocol (IP) traffic and other services.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Lines (ADSL ) is standardised using the discrete multi-tone technique to allow new data (Internet) services to be provided over the plain old telephone service (POTS )

1995 - There are now 25 million cellular subscribers in the U.S. Worldwide; 30 million users are now on the Internet

1996 - Sergey Brin and Larry Page developed the Google search engine. The Google  company was then founded in 1998

1999 - Organizations all over the world spend billions of dollars as they try to make their telecommunications systems and networks ready for the turn of the century – common called the Y2K bug .

Like telephone services on the fixed or wired network, Mobile phone services have gone through major developments since their introduction in the 1980’s. Mobile phone development has reached the stage where pricing is competitive and the phones themselves are almost “consumable” items. So much so, that the authorities make special efforts to encourage consumers to dispose of unwanted equipment responsibly because of their impact on the environment.

To the left - A small sample of the phones that were developed during the 1990's, showing just how much they had changed in just ten years. In the foreground is the classic and timeless Nokia 8110.  It developed an iconic status through Keanau Reeves and the Matrix movie, which premiered in 1999 - what made it so special? 

If you would like to read the Nokia "Marketing" spin on it through their press releases, visit their web site 


  Some very early “mobile phones” were used for communications between the ground staff and Observation Balloons. These balloons were a common observation method adopted by all sides in the First World War.  

Although they weren't a mobile telephone in our present understanding, they did provide a means of communicating whilst on the move.

Observation readings were passed down via the use of flags or by radio telephone, and balloon operators would generally remain in the air for hours at a spell.

As this WW1 picture shows, the mobile telephone equipment in those days was very cumbersome and required a second operator turning the handle to generate power.


The very earliest of the “mobiles” introduced to customers in the 1950’s, were very bulky and required “operator assistance” for connection to the required party. This Manual Mobile Telephone Service  had none of the advanced features that we enjoy today and used push-to-talk on a single one-way radio channel in the VHF bands of 30 to 40 MHz. 


There was unsatisfied demand, in spite of the following shortcomings –

Ø      A very crowded single radio channel – callers had to “wait their turn”.

Ø      A lack of privacy – much like a telephone party line

Ø      Obsolete push-to-talk procedure.

Ø      The need for a manual operator to establish the call and charging – much like an early long distance call.

On the 10th of September 1981, the first fully automatic MTS  (Mobile Telephone Service) in Australia commenced providing services in Melbourne, closely followed by service in Sydney. 


As a collectable item, the mobile, or cell phone has some appeal. It has undergone such a range of development and miniaturisation that it has provided a good opportunity to "get in early" while these instruments are still around and to be able to show the huge technology changes that have occurred in a relatively short time.


Weighing in at a massive 3.5Kg, the Philips Porty was probably one of the first mobiles to be freed from an in vehicle mount to be “portable”.


From Korea

Now, what can you do, you’re lost in the outback and surrounded by mosquitos and all manner of unseen nasties. It’s midnight, the mosquitos are keeping you awake, you’ve got a headache, and you’re feeling stressed out.

Korea’s TNP Telecom would like to see you rely on your Mobile Shot TDG-9920.

In 2005, it’s not enough to be able to make calls, SMS’s and to take photos; their phone also has –

Ø      An ultrasonic mosquito repeller.

Ø      A massager.

Ø      A flashlight.

Ø      A biorhythm reader.

Assuming that you could actually find it in your backpack in the dark, it would be almost impossible to resist. It’s not likely that any of these features would do much for the battery life, but hey if you like gadgets, it would be almost as good as having a “multi-tool” hanging on your belt




With a phone like this, we get an idea of the wide range of digital mobiles, that are now available with integrated MP3, radio, recorder, camera, GPS and all manner of additional gadgets.