Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Early Years of Cellular Phones

Let me dig into my olds stuffs for a bit of mobile phone history.

When Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola unveiled the DynaTAC 8000X in 1983, it was like holding a brick near your head.


Fast forward to my college days in the early 90's, there were very few students who had mobile phones. To a phone booth was where you'd go when you want to talk to somebody. The first really portable mobile phone I saw was the Motorola MicroTAC that had a red LED display.


My parents bought from Smart their first mobile phone, the Nokia 100, in 1994. It's a 1G (first generation) mobile phone and operated in the ETACS (Extended Total Access Communication System) network. Notice that the keypad had numbers only - text messaging was not yet introduced in the Philippines. Other phones had letters on the keypad but this was mainly for writing the names of your contacts. Our Nokia 100 saved numbers only without names. This phone was purely for voice calls - no SMS, no games, no camera, no audio/video player, no internet access. Beepers from companies Pocketbell and EasyCall were very popular.

Nokia 100

In 1996, Nhoel, Sherwin, Melvin, Erik and I, bought our first 2G phone from Islacom, the Nokia 2010. It operated in the GSM network and had the new feature called SMS or text messaging. The cost was PhP 4,480 for the unit, registration and miscellaneous fees then a monthly subscription fee of PhP 180. For that amount you get 20 minutes free voice calls per month and FREE TEXT MESSAGING. The following year, Lilia (who is now my wife) grabbed a Nokia 2010 in a special promo from Globe. Then we started exchanging text messages and got married a few years after :) The introduction of text messaging spelled the end of beepers in the Philippines and with its popularity, Globe, Smart and Islacom started charging subscribers for text messages.


The SIM cards were real cards the size of credit cards that you slide in the back of the phone before you attach the Ni-Cd battery. The Ni-Cd battery alone is taller, wider and thicker than today's Nokia phones.



It's like holding a cordless phone with a telescopic antenna. At the back, Globe's SIM card from decade ago meets today’s SIM card.


Nokia phones across three mobile phone generations G1, G2, G3.



ian said...

what a trip down memory lane!~

my Globe number will actually celebrate its tenth year anniversary this august. i still remember, i was in college then, that whenever i got an sms and my phone would beep (Nokia 2110i), people would stop and stare at what happened to my phone and i would be obliged to explain the sms technology. in our class then only two of us had sms-capable phones, both gigantic-akala-mo-super-cool phones. but before the academic year ended, they released the nokia 5110 with then-wild colors and my brick of a phone seemed really jurassic hehe

thanks for unlocking a pandora's box of memories... wish i were as good a packrat as you are hehe

trippy site! i like-

RT said...

I remember that old brick. I think I had one of each in between then and now.

Luisa said...

hahaha my cousin had a cp then as in ang laki parang pang kudkod ng yelo hehehe...

i tried so many phones

trium because i passed my history subject hahaha parang safe guear na lusaw to atmaganda ng konti noong unag panahon dahil 4 liner na siya hehehe

3310 because im embarrased na with trium di na kasi uso may antenna nun hahaha and it's a grad gift

5510 grabe nagkasat ako sa floor dahil sa cp na to and i was already 18 nah hahaha

3230 this is my latest phone at saka ko na lang papalitan hehehe

nagkakilala kayo ng wife through text??

kasi yung bf ko din now ganun hahaha

daldal ko

amazingluisa.blogspot.com :)

Billycoy said...

meron din kami nyan... pero mom and uncle ko may gamit, mobiline pa nga gamit nilang linya

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