The communications industry is continuously evolving and it helps to know the history of cell networks.  The idea started with a theory that Clark Maxwell which is the theory of electromagnetic radiation.  It was then used in 1901 by Guglielmo Marconi when he invented radio transmission.  Then in late 1940s the modern telephony was introduced in the United Sates and then in Europe in 1950s.

These first mobile phones are highly confined. They are known to have rather poor service. Aside from that, those devices are really heavy and extremely expensive, unlike the gadgets that we have today.

1G: First Generation

The first generation (1G) mobile networks were introduced in 1970s.  It was then referred to be as cellular, which was then known as “cell”.  The signals were being transmitted with help of towers.  This is also known as the “Analog” era, where as the signals being transmitted were voice only which is made by their popular 1G system, Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS).

This then made the mobile phone market grew to about 30 to 50 percent annually with appearance of 1G network.  It was then recorded that there were approximately 20 million subscribers in 1990.

2G: Second Generation (GSM and GPRS Networks)

Second set of mobile phones was then introduced in early 1990s.  This was the time that mobile networks introduced the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication technology.  It makes use of digital modulation, where in it improve voice quality. That is why they consider this as the “digital” era, where in voice and limited data (less than 20kbps) are being transmitted.

Aside from that, it offers additional services for the subscribers such as paging, text messages, faxes, and voicemail.  The data services that are limited to 2G are WAP, HSCSD, and MLS.

In late 1990s, 2.5G was introduced which included GPRS standard in order to deliver packet-switched data capabilities to GSM network users.  The significance of this switch is due to the birth on intent and internet protocol.  It does allow users to send data that is rich in graphics and that the dial up speed then increased to about 30kbps to 90kbps.

3G: Third Generation

This is considered to be the revolution of mobile telephones.  It gives the users the ability to make use of audio, graphics and video applications.

The 3G network then increased the speed transmission up to 2mbps.  Aside from that, the cellular 3G service that they offer is known as UMTS.  It can also sustain higher data rates and open their way to the internet style application.

4G: Mobile Networks

With 4G network, it has the capability to transmit information with a rate up to 20mbps. It has the capability to accommodate Quality of Service (QoS) features.  This makes it a much better network compared to its predecessors.

These QoS does help in prioritizing the traffic based on the type of application with the use of your bandwidth.  This type of mobile networks is expected to have high performance streaming of multimedia content.


Given the fact that technology is quickly innovating. We can expect greater things to come with cell networks in the near futures. Thus, the history of cell network is like a book that has no ending.

When did you get your first cell phone?