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Your new Mobile Telephone is now available - in the 1940's


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Well, it's only just still the 1940's I believe - because that's a 1949 Ford Custom whizzing along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.


However, this is a fascinating look back into how the Bell company had all the ingredients correct to operate a mobile telephone network in 1949, with radio towers every few miles to make it all work.


However, they just had to wait until miniaturisation, silicon chips, vastly better batteries, and improved electronics in signal broadcasting, all came together, to give us the incredible mobile phone network and communication that we have today.


The comments below the film are interesting. One person saying the mobile phone cost in 1949 was US$15 a mth and calls were 40c. But in todays dollars, that's the equivalent of $165 a mth, and $5 a call.

Then the same commenter says how there were only 24 radio channels for a whole metropolitan area, and in congested periods, you often had to wait an hour for an available channel, to be able to get a call through.




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I had one of the first Motorola "brick" analogue handsets in July 1990. It had a wired handset that clipped to the handle of the main body, which was about the size of a brick, that contained the battery and the electronics.

I seem to recall it cost me $1600, a fortune in those days. But I was involved in running a sizeable contracting business back then, so it was a pretty useful bit of gear. I think they were also 3W output? The range of them was amazing.

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