Cell phone is a device that is very similar to a radio, but is using a more complex technology than the radio. Cell phone is a portable handheld communication gadget that essentially uses radio waves to convey the message. In this contemporary society, the usage of cell phone technology has been extremely high, making cabled means of communication less significant. The telephone, as we know it, was first invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham. Cell phone dates its origin back to 1880, when Nikolai Tesla invented radio and introduced the first means of wireless communication. These two inventions were combined to bring about the cell phone technology.
It is noteworthy that mobile communications existed even before the cell phone technology, when people used radio telephones. The accessibility of the network was the critical problem, since there was only one antenna cable covering a wide geographical zone, for instance, a city with relatively fewer channels. This meant that a person slightly far from the central area was not able to access the network.
Cell phone technology was able to solve the problem of network that was earlier experienced in fixing the radio telephones in cars. This was done through fragmenting the city into minute cells. Such technology led to widespread frequency usage across the area meaning that people could use cell phones at the same time.
Cell phones have smaller size, which makes them a truly portable device. Such breakthrough was made possible by the fact that they require a transmitter that is low-powered (0.6 watts and 3 watts), unlike the radio, which requires 4 watts. This means that cell phone consumes remarkably low power since it has a small battery. In addition, the application of low-power transmitters comprehensively facilitates the multiple use of the same frequencies making the network available.
The key difference between the cell phone and other forms of wireless communication, such as CB radio, is the complexity and range of coverage. In CB radios, the same frequency is used during communication, which means that if the communication involves two individuals, only one can talk at a time. In contrast, cell phone allows both parties on the call to talk simultaneously. This means that in case of a cell phone, one frequency is utilized for talking while the other is for listening. Cell phone covers a wide range of area compared to CB radio, which is concentrated on a smaller section. Another difference that can be brought up is that of channels. Cell phones have many channels compared to other wireless forms of communication.
Origin of Cell Phone Technology
As stated above, cell phone technology traces its origin way back to 1880’s when telephone and wireless means of communication were at the initial stage of implementation. At that time, individuals could use installed radios in their cars to communicate, even though the onset of its formal development and usage traces back to 1940’s. In fact, this was as a result of innovative technology installed in taxi cabs, police cars, and among other service vehicles, which facilitated communication among taxi drivers and police during their service delivery (Horst & Miller, 2006).
The first cell phone technology was introduced in Sweden in 1946, when Swedish police started using mobile phones. At that crucial period, in contrast to radio technology, cell phone was still connected to telephone network. The only side effect of its application at that moment was the range of use and longevity of use. For instance, back then it was practical to use the phone for only six phone calls before the battery drained off.
Modern mobile phone technology started in 1947 when D.H Ring from Bell Labs created hexagonal cells for mobile phones. His work later influenced another engineer from the same Bell Labs who came up with the idea of cell towers, which could receive simultaneously transmitting signals in triple directions instead of dual.
By 1967, people were able to access the mobile phone technology, although the network connection was limited to a particular cell beyond which the network was not available. This called for further innovation from engineers, and such an innovation was notably made by Amos Edward Joel in 1970, an engineer from a familiar Bell Labs. This technology ensured that the network connection was beyond a specific cell (Kling, 2010).
There has been a considerable improvement of cellular technology since its inception, when radio technology was utilized. Even in the twenty-first century, innovations of developed brands of cell phones are acknowledged. For instance, cell phone technology was initially based on analogue technology whereby the phones were exceptionally large in size compared to the modern ones. Those were considered the first generation (1G) phone systems which were phased out by first digital devices in 1990’s. Subsequent improvements were made to second-generation (2G) phone systems and, finally, to the modern third generation cellular phone (3G). The technology has not stagnated at 3G, and there have been significant improvements and innovations such as streaming radio and TV, as well as Wi-Fi technology, which has entered into the market (Goggin, 2006).
Benefits and disadvantages of cell phone technology
Cell phone technology has proved to be of enormous importance in the modern society. Most notable is the fact that cell phone technologies have facilitated communication. The technology has changed the world into a global village where individuals can communicate notwithstanding the place one is in the world (Kling, 2010). This technology has been a platform for a vast knowledge accumulation worldwide. This is especially true as modern development of Wi-Fi and Internet, where people are using their handsets, allows acquiring the first hand information.
With the modern technology, where phones are equipped with navigation and GPRS system, people are able to trace the place they are at and the place of their destination. This technology has made it possible for people not to get lost. Another significant contribution, which can be attributed to cell phone technology, is that it fosters one’s business by ensuring proper and consistent communications with the employees and anyone of significance to the business. This assures proper control even if the owner is far away from the business environment.
Cell phones have also been used by the security officers in tracking criminals. This was made possible by the fact that most of modern cell phones have an installed GPRS system that can be used to track criminals (Horst & Miller, 2006).
Cell phones have been used for entertainment purposes. Most of modern cell phones are like mini computers with features like TV, music, upload of pictures, and many other elements that have been used for entertainment purposes.
Unfortunately, the use of cell phone technology has turned out to have some limitations. First, mobile phone poses a threat to one’s health, since the excessive use of mobile phone has been found to have the potential of destroying one’s brain. This is mostly witnessed in younger generation, especially those under sixteen years old. Moreover, cell phones emit some radiation which has some side effect on eardrum.
The use of cell phone has also been linked with the increase of road accidents, because some drivers receive calls while on roads, which interrupts their concentration. In addition, some pedestrians make calls while crossing the road and they end up causing accidents (Kiesbye, 2011).
The use of cell phone has also contributed to a massive increase in crime across the globe. For instance, terrorist can use cell phones to coordinate their criminal activities, especially through internet enabled cell phones. This has compromised security in many countries. In addition, some fraud activities can also be organized using cell phones.