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Did you know the mobile phone is 40 years old this year?

It was back in April 1973 that Motorola employee Martin Cooper made a call in New York on a Motorola DynaTAC – widely regarded globally as the first public cellphone call. The device was nine inches tall, comprised 30 circuit boards, had a talk-time of 35 minutes, and took 10 hours to recharge (pictured below with inventor Martin Cooper.

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Since its first use 40 years ago, the mobile phone has completely changed our lives. The first decade was a research or a ‘demonstrator’ phase, rapidly followed by Analogue networks deployed over 10 years from the early 1980’s largely based on car phones and used in business in the developed world. Next came the digital decade, mainly between 1993 and 2003, when consumerisation and globalisation of mobile really took off. This led to a further data adoption phase with the arrival of 3G and during 2003 – 2013 access to the internet and the wider use of smartphones became a reality. Four decades on, a worldwide telecoms industry with annual revenues of £800 billion has grown rapidly based on wide choice, falling prices and an array of technologies. Dr Mike Short past President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and mobile industry veteran, says the coming years will see mobile innovation continue to change our lives. He says “With close to 7 billion customers today, we already expect this year globally more mobile devices (or subscriptions) than people”

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