Your mobile: miracle or menace


Almost every teenager wants one; most households have one (or more); they’re relatively easy to look after, although problems arise when sufficient care isn’t taken; and they can become very costly!

Actually, I’m not talking about a warm, cuddly family pet, rather, that modern-day miracle called the mobile phone.

Although more recently in dispute, it’s widely accepted that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and Gugliemo Marconi the radio system. But no individual person is credited with inventing the mobile phone; the technology has evolved and developed with computerisation and miniaturisation!

In the early 1900s, the first in-car radio phone was invented—a mobile phone of sorts. In Sweden, Lars Magnus Ericsson and his wife, Hilda, devised a primitive contraption that greatly contributed to the gestation of phone communication from vehicles. Then followed increased cellular technical development with considerable innovations. In 1973, the first call was made from a mobile Motorola phone (also called cells, handphones or handys), then a few years later an analogue cellular service developed. Things escalated from there.

rapid acceptance

Mobile phones (that is, for people to carry, albeit on their shoulder) first graced our lives in 1985. And what monsters they were, weighing around 3 kg with powers source! But within a few years size and weight reduced considerably to a manageable 750 g, then 250 g. Compared with today’s slimline, top-pocket, foldaway aerial-less versions (which are also smarter), they were still somewhat akin to a brick!

Not surprisingly, as mobiles decreased in size, becoming more practical and easier to use (that’s “user-friendly”), people readily accepted this technology, its associated protocols—and expense.