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Many Happy Return Calls!

Exactly 30 years ago today, on April 3, 1973, a sprightly Martin Cooper, then general manager of Motorola Inc.'s (NYSE: MOT) Communications Systems Division, made the world's first mobile phone call to a public telephone network (see Mobile Phones Hit 30).

Cooper, now chairman and CEO of ArrayComm Inc. (see Martin Cooper - The Spectrum Avenger), made the call that changed the world while crossing a street in New York City.

"That was probably one of the more dangerous things I’ve ever done in my life," he joked many years later. "Sophisticated New Yorkers gaped at the sight of someone actually moving around while making a phone call."

And they still would, if your handset were the size of a small sport utility vehicle.

Nice phone, Grandpa!
Nice phone, Grandpa!


The great thing about that call (apart from the fact it wasn't made from a packed train carriage, or a movie theater) is that Cooper was calling Joel Engel, his rival and head of research at Bell Labs, to have the first cell phone gloat.

What Cooper didn't know, of course, is that folk would look more than a little ridiculous for quite some time to come.

Doofus in an 80s suit
What's my tailor's number, again?


Thanks, Marty. And happy anniversary.

— Gabriel Brown, Research Analyst, Unstrung

Gabriel Brown 4/3/2018 | 6:18:14 AM
45th Anniversary of the Mobile Phone Epic dredge... I wrote this 15 years ago.

Mobile was very voiuce-centric in 2003. We were on the verge of mass-market mobile broadband at that time, but it wasn't quite there yet.
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