Feeds

Wireless wonks celebrate 35th anniversary of first cell call

When Motorola abused Bell Labs

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

CTIA Wireless April 3 marks the 35th anniversary of the world’s first cellular phone call, and to celebrate, former NFL hero Steve Largent has presented a priapic monolith to the man who made that call back in the spring of 1973.

Largent is now the president and CEO of the CTIA wireless association, and this morning, at the association's annual trade show in Las Vegas, he took industry insiders on a trip down mobile memory lane.

"As many of you know, this October, we will celebrate the first commercial wireless phone call - quarter century of commercial wireless service in America," Largent told the gathered crowd. "But this morning, we want to focus your attention on another wireless phone call - one that occurred 35 years ago. On April 3, 1973, a team of engineers at Motorola realized their professional dreams: the completion of the first ever portable cellular call."

Then Largent introduced Martin Cooper, the Motorola team member who actually dialed the phone. He was strolling down the streets of New York City at the time, and the person on the other end was Joel Engel, then head of research at Bell Labs.

"While many of us would probably have used that historical call to get in touch with our mom or dad or spouse, Marty took a different route," Largent explained. "Marty chose to use his portable cellular phone call to make a call to his chief competitor at Bell Laboratories to tell him he had beaten him to the punch.

"With that call, 35 years go, the fierce competition that exists in the wireless industry was born," Largent added. But more on that later.

Martin Cooper used the anniversary of his historic call to spout a cliche. "It has really been 35 years, but our industry really is in its infancy. We have only in the past few years learned how to make a reliable wireless phone call and we're just learning how to deliver data."

He also congratulated the major American wireless carriers for finally announcing open access to their networks. But he did not comment on whether any of these carriers will play fast and loose with the word open.

Cooper then presented Steve Largent with an exact replica of the first portable cell phone, while plugging two companies he now runs. And Largent gave Cooper a large piece of clear plastic.

Seven months after that first cell call, Cooper and his Motorola team filed for a patent on their "Radio Telephone System," and two years later, it was granted. ®

Bootnote

For all the news on the CTIA Wireless trade show see our CTIA roundup.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.