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Occasionally, someone will ask about how the cell phone industry came to be.

 

Nowadays, the relationship between the cellular phone industry with small business, big business, entrepreneurs, and government seems pretty obvious. But, how did all this come about? Those details seem to have faded away from memory.

 

The technology itself is archived and available with a quick Google search:  MTS, IMTS, RCC, AMPS, GSM, CDMA. In fact, the actual beginnings of today’s cell phone technology was MTS -- Mobile Telephone Service --  which appeared right after the close of WWII.

 

My first Mobile Telephone Service experience was installed in my car when I was age 18, living in Shreveport, LA. About sixty five pounds of equipment operating on the 43 Mhz band was bolted into the trunk of my five year old Oldsmobile convertible. A push to talk handset was mounted on the hump and five foot stainless steel whip on the left side rear fender. Neither the car nor the equipment contained a single semi-conductor or solid state device. The year was 1959, ten years before NASA's Apollo Lunar Lander touched down on the moon.

 

So, the old technology is part of history --  and it is easy enough to trace the evolution of today’s cellular technology. But the trickle-down economics from Congress to small business is not archived today – and can only be found in memories of the people who engaged in the early industry. The details of the evolution of the cellular industry by America's small business people and government licensed cellular carrier monopolies is the story.


~ Bob Hutchinson
Wireless Industry Association Founder

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