Cellular Phones: How They Changed the World and Where Do We Go Now?


In the recent years, cellular phones have rapidly become a staple and necessity in American society and around the globe. Since its humble beginnings as an uncommon, big and bulky device, the cell phone has now become an everyday item that is sleek and pocket-sized. The cell phone was conceptualized in 1947 when researchers realized that small cells, or ranges of service area, could be used to increase the traffic capacity of the basic mobile phone by a sufficient amount. It was not until 1973 though that Dr. Martin Cooper, who was a former general manger at Motorola made the first call on a cellular phone. Cooper is considered the inventor of the first modern portable phone device. Thanks to Cooper’s invention and following advancements made upon the cell phone, citizens of American society have been able to contact one another from almost everywhere necessary.


While the original cell phones were solely used for contacting other individuals, cell phones today can serve a wide variety of needs besides being just a phone. Cell phones can be used to store contact information, make to-do lists and reminders, and have a simple math calculator built into the device. These are only the simplest of amenities. Most recent cell phones can send and receive e-mails, are able to retrieve information through internet connection that is available, use a portable GPS system, or possibly watch TV or listen to music on the built in MP3 player. With all of these incredible functions, the cell phone has become somewhat of a mobile computing device that can fit in your pocket. All of these additions have made the cell phone that much more intricate, yet even more helpful. They have added convenience to the lives of those who have access to them, which is a large population. An estimated 82% of Americans own a cell phone.( http://www.switched.com/2007/11/14/82-of-americans-own-cell-phones/) This proves just how many people have been affected by the invention of the cell phone.


Cell phones are not only in use in the United States. People around the globe have been affected by the invention. In areas of developing industries, the purchasing and use of cell phones has increased very much. For example, both China and India, show much growth in the use of cell phones, mostly due to the large populations the influence these nations have begun to play on the world scale. Even some underdeveloped countries around the globe have increased their use of cell phones. In Africa, cell phones have been so popular that more people have a cell phone then a fixed line based from home. This is just one illustration of the world-wide impact that cell phones have made. They play an intricate part of everyday life and are now an important instrument in society.


History of cell phones

Cell phones today are very compact, advanced, and some of them are smart but back in the 1980’s when they were introduced to the consumer market they were very different. The cell phones of the early 80’s were large, heavy, and hard to talk on. In 1983 the first cell phone was sold on the market; the Motorola DynaTac 8000x. The DynaTac was a monster of a phone; it weighed 28 ounces and was 10 inches in height. The antenna stands permanently up and adds to the phones height. The Motorola DynaTac was a very expensive phone and not very many people could afford the phones high price tag. The phone’s cost was a staggering 3,500 dollars and it took a few years for a lot of people to get on board with getting a wireless phone. It took about 7 years to have a million registered wireless users. In the 80’s DynaTAC was the cell phone that was leading the market but there was a different mobile phone system that people also liked. The car phone was popular in the 1980’s because it was a little bit cheaper than the expensive Motorola and it was more easy to use because it was smaller. The car phone is like a normal wired phone line because it is permanently installed into a vehicle. The system uses external antennas and high powered transmitters.

The mobile phone in the 80’s could only call in so many places but there was another invention that made it possible to use satellites to call from pretty much anywhere on the face of the earth. The satellite phone is a type of mobile phone that connects to orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites. The satellite phones of the time period were about the same size and shape of normal mobile phone from the 1980’s. These satellite phones became very popular because it can be used pretty much anywhere in the world. They were used by expeditionary forces and ships just to name a few examples. Some countries that had oppressive governments band them from use because they were not able to be censored or tapped.

During the 80’s the mobile phone industry was coming into its own. As the decade was coming to a close the cell phone market was going to explode into the 1990’s.

As time went on new phones were being put out on the market and in the very early 90’s the cell phone took on a new look, in a bag. The bag phone was introduced by Motorola in 1992. The bag phone consisted of a hand set, a very large battery, and a long antenna. The bag phone was very popular when it came out because it was very durable and was relatively inexpensive. The bag phone was a hit in America and Europe as well. They power they put out truckers and people who lived in rural areas preferred them because they made good calls when cell towers were very far away.

In the early 90’s after the bag phone had come out to the market the second generation of cell phone system was being introduced. It was called the 2G network. The new system would allow phones to be smaller, have longer battery lives, and more powerful transmitters. During the second generation of the cell phone system sms text messages were able to be sent form phone to phone. At first text messages were no very popular but eventually they grew and people started to catch on and they really liked it. After a couple of years the 2G network was getting old and the mobile phone companies began working on a 3G network. The 3G network is the fastest network to date.

Today cell phones are very advanced and have the fastest networks and data streaming ever. In today’s high technology world the new phones are cooler and faster than ever. Phones like the Apple Iphone and the Blackberry Storm have taken the cell phone market to a new level. These touch screen phones have come a very long way from the brick phones of the 1980’s. They have cool features such as email, downloadable applications, and internet browsers that look like you are on an actual computer.

The cell phone has been getting smaller and smarter since they Motorola DynaTac. Since the early 1980’s phones have also been getting cool features as well. The original features of the cell phone were to make phone calls. Throughout the last 25 years phones have been getting new add on’s such as cameras, GPS navigation, radio receivers, WIFI, video cameras, and personalized ringtones.

Today the satellite phone is still a popular item to own. They are a lot more reliable than previous older models and are cheaper to get too. Aside from being used by people who are traveling where there are no cell towers, disaster response teams use them when something happens and cell phone lines are tied up. There are a few examples of people using them in disasters such as the September 11th attacks on America, Hurricane Katrina, and the Minnesota bridge collapse. The other reason that responders tend to use satellite phones is that if there was a natural disaster and cell towers were knocked down, they could still easily make a phone call to another emergency team. The reason that emergency responders use satellite phones is satellites do not get damaged by or from natural disasters from earth. They are high up in space and that keeps them safe, so using a satellite phone is pretty reliable and that it why emergency teams tend to use them when it come to responding to a very large scale emergency.

The cell phone has evolved from the large bulky brick like object that could only be on an analogue network to the phones of today that have touch screens and a million cool different things that can be done with the phone besides just talking on it.


Current Technologies

In the 1880’s Nikolai Tesla invented the radio which is the basis of wireless communication. A cell phone is in essence a radio. There are two types of wireless talking devices out there; full-duplex and half-duplex. Walkie-talkies and CB radio are both half duplex devices which mean that only one person can talk at a time. Full duplex means that both people can talk at the same time due to the fact that one frequency is used for talking and the other is used for listening. The next important term is a channel. A walkie-talkie usually only has one channel, a CB radio has about 40, and a cell phone can have 1,664 channels or more. The range of a cell phone is dependent on the phone and carrier, however, they can operate smoothly for hundreds of miles. Cell phones operate within cells which allow them to move around and not loose service. CB radios only have a range of about 5 miles for comparison. In the United States, cell carriers typically have about 800 frequencies to use around a city. The company then chops up the city into cells which are about 10 square miles each. Each cell has a base station that consists of a tower and a small building that contains the radio equipment.

Cell phones that used analog signals used to have 7 channels per cell. That system was called 1G and only allowed 7 simultaneous calls at once. Currently, there are about 168 channels available with the digital system. This system is called 2G. Cell phones are low powered transmitters. What this means is that the towers can reuse the frequencies because the signal does not travel very far. This also means that the battery can be small enough to fit in your pocket.

When you first turn on a cell phone it listens for a SID (system Identification Code). The phone uses a special control channel to compare the SID programmed into the phone. If it matches the carrier’s information then it knows it is communicating with the home system. If it cannot find the control channel, then it states no service. If its towers are not in range and they are using another carrier then you are roaming. Along with the SID, the phone also transmits a registration request. The reason for this is because if the phone is to receive a call, then the company needs to know where to send the call request.

The cell technologies involved with 2G phones are very complex. The three main ones are Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). The first word describes what the access method is and the words after that describe how the calls are split on the channels. The first type, FDMA, broadcasts each phones transmission on a different frequency. This is mainly used for analog transmission because it is not an efficient way of sending data. The second type, TDMA, is a narrow band that is 30 kHz wide and 6.7 milliseconds long and split into three time slots. The call is digital so the voice data is compressed and sent in one of the “channels”. This system is three times the capacity of the analog system with the same amount of channels. TDMA operates in the 800 MHz or 1900 MHz frequency bands. There is a system called GSM (global system for mobile communications) which implements TDMA in a different way. GSM uses encryptions and is the standard in Europe and Asia. GSM in the United States uses a different frequency then the European version so US cell phones cannot be used abroad. The third system, CDMA, digitizes the signal and then spreads it out over the available bandwidth. Calls are overlaid on each channel and then assigned a unique sequence code. CDMA needs an accurate time-stamp on each packet of information so it accesses a GPS system for it.

Phones can be “multiple band” which means it can switch frequencies. A quad-band phone can get service in four frequencies so it would work in Europe and America. A multiple mode phone would support analog and digital transmissions. This is helpful in areas that might not have digital service yet.

High speed cell networks are called 3G. These run at speeds comparable to a cable modem or a DSL line. You can receive streaming video and music downloads at fast speeds. The EV-DO (Evolution-Data optimized) network has speeds between 144 Kbps to 2 Mbps for CDMA cell phones. Sprint and Verizon use this type of high speed network. The second types are called UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) and HSDPA (High-speed Downlink Packet Access) provide DSL and cable like speeds to cell phones. HSDPA is faster than UMTS so it is sometimes referred to as 3.5G. Currently AT&T and T-Mobile offer these services however T-Mobiles 3G network only extends to a few large cities.

There are also networks that run slower then 3G and are referred to as 2.5G networks. They are comparable to dial up which is good for email and web browsing but not very good for streaming videos. 1xRTT (1 times Radio Transmission Technology) has speeds of around 30 Kbps to 90 Kbps. The non 3G phones use this on Sprint and Verizon’s networks. GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) provide data that runs in the same 30 Kbps to 90 Kbps rage as 1xRTT however Edge is slightly faster than GPRS. T-Mobile and AT&T both use these networks on their non 3G phones.

Cell phones contain a battery which has been developing from suitcase size to credit card size. The first main type is a NiCad battery. This battery has the shortest usage time and is affected by memory effect which is what happens when a battery is charged before it is empty. This shortens the life of the battery so therefore no longer used. NiMH batteries are smaller than NiCad batteries and hold a charge 50 to 100 percent longer. Their downfall is a shortening of life in extreme temperatures. These batteries are also no longer used. The third type is called LiIon batteries and they offer the longest amount of talk time. They are much smaller and hold a charge better then NiCad however LiIon batteries are much more expensive. Batteries recharge in an average of one to two hours.


Social issues

As time has progressed, the mobile phone has the main means of communication for many people throughout the world. Part of this can be attributed to the development of cell phones as Mobile Internet Devices (MID’s). This simply means that a mobile device can be used to surf the internet. Each day, thousands more people are surfing the internet, checking their email and listening to music on their cell phones. It is feasible today to live without a television, telephone or computer at home and still indulge in the luxuries provided by all three, all in the palm of your hand. Some cell phones now can tune to cable television, be used for internet surfing and can be used to place calls. In today’s world of convenience and having everything at your fingertips, many of today’s cell phones can be used for all of your needs.

One of the most popular brands of MID’s is Blackberry. Invented in 1999 as a two way pager, the company was at the forefront of developing new technology. They began to rise to the forefront when they focused on adding email capabilities to their phones. Unlike the normal mobile phone, the normal Blackberry is wider, with a full Qwerty keyboard and an above average sized screen. BY December 2008, there were around 21 million users worldwide. It is very popular with professionals who depend on timely communication. In fact, Barack Obama was under fire at the beginning of his term when he continued to use his device, despite security concerns. Is he a part of the “Crackberry” generation as well? The nickname has stuck with many of its users, as the device can be highly addictive.

Another example of a MID is the iPhone. A new fashion statement, Apple has succeeded yet again after the success of the iPod. With a 3.5 inch screen, the iPhone’s is relatively large compared to other MID’s, which provides more detail when surfing the net. In January of 2009, Apple announced the sale of 17.4 million sales since its inception two years prior. People were waiting outside Apple stores for hours before the first version came out, with everyone eager to try out Apple’s new product. Amazingly, their third generation phone, which came out recently, has also sold very well. Apple officials assumed that iPhone users would wait until their contracts were up to upgrade, but there was a lot of demand to upgrade immediately, terminating their old contracts and beginning new ones. As the sole provider of service for the iPhone, AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular Wireless) has profited greatly. This was in exchange for Cingular’s help developing the technology, but the right to exclusivity ends in 2010.

Cell phones have also led the way to controversy. In January 2009, six students at Greensburg Salem High School in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, were arrested for child pornography after taking pictures and texting sexual pictures to each other. This practice was coined “sexting”. This has led to much debate, as people question whether these kids should have been arrested. This charge could lead them onto the sex offenders list, even though they never sexually offended anybody. The local authorities said later that they wanted to prove a point, but they also realize that they cannot monitor all cell phones in their jurisdiction. The concern is the fact that there are nude pictures of children available now, and they hope that they wouldn’t find their way to actual sex offenders. Also, many people have questioned as to why these teens were taking nude pictures in the first place. The convenience factor with new technology has led to much debate, especially when concerning the law. The problem is that, according to a recent survey, twenty percent of teens have posted semi-nude or nude photos on the internet or on their phones. The only solution, according to police is for parents to watch their kids closely and check their internet and cell phone usage.

The new cell phone technology has led to many ethical dilemmas, other than the “sexting”.  One prime example is cell phone use at movie theaters.  Almost every theater in the country asks you to turn off your device, but no one actually seems to.  Usually, people still text and sometimes even talk in the theaters during a movie, which is quite distracting to the rest of the audience.  In a dark theater, it can be very distracting if the light of the person’s cell phone next to you is glaring in your eye during a crucial scene.  In 2006, Regal Entertainment group, the largest cinema owner in the United States, created a call button for ushers if your neighbor’s conversations become disruptive.  Chief Executive Officer Michael Campbell said, “Cell phones drive us crazy….We’ve had people assaulted with knives, bats, guns”.  The problem is blamed on teenagers as they tend to be a group who always needs to be multi-tasking, and respect for the theater-going experience has declined, according to Campbell.

Another problem is cell phone use at restaurants.  It is a common habit of many cell phone users, particularly the less technologically savvy, to talk at an unreasonably high volume into their phones.  It happens in public places, and it gets to the point where their conversation includes everyone around them, whether they want to be or not.  A quick poll of friends showed the debate on this topic.  One said that he did not care one way or another if they use the phone, as long as the talker keeps quiet.  Another one of my friends said that they think it’s okay to answer but you should try to keep it brief.  Another said that they should be banned because there’s nothing worse than listening to a neighboring table’s cell phone conversation.  The San Fransisco Chronicle found that just 21 percent of people think that cell phones should be answered in restaurants, but people continue to regardless. 

Also, churches and places of worship present a problem.  Listening to cell phone interference with the microphone during the sermon is more than a minor annoyance.  Same goes for concerts, lectures, public transportation, and a host of other public places.

The common solution to these social issues is to be respectful, watch your volume and prioritize.  If it is a very important call, then take it.  If not, then don’t answer or keep it short.  If you’re at a wedding and the bride and groom are about to tie the knot, they don’t want to hear your new ring tone.


Current Cell Phone Costs

Cell phone companies will continue to grow far into the future with their products, services and deals. From starting out with the mere basics in wireless technology to providing society with some of the most advanced technology, the cost of owning a cell phone has followed the productivity. Cell phones were originally designed for cars, government officials and the people who could afford them. The earlier cellular phones reached into thousands of dollars. However as cell phones progressed, the prices did as well.

In today’s market, cell phone costs and plans are predicted to drop in order to become more affordable for the consumers. Verizon’s Blackberry Storm has developed strategies in order to attract new customers, providing a “buy one get one” deal during a new contract. However, if the market starts to improve and grow again the prices will also begin to grow. The cell phone industry was known not to have major problems during bad economic times. However, when the cell phone industry began to take a huge hit, the leading mobile companies made drastic ramifications. After twenty-five years of impressing growth, the industry has recently faced enormous challenges. Device manufacturers, semiconductor manufacturers and mobile operators have taken huge changes and setbacks within cellular companies.

Today, consumers are paying over 200 dollars in order to have a wireless connection. The question of whether or not it is worth the cost to keep a connection has crossed the minds of many consumers. The cell phone industry is a fierce competition between service companies. The most common data application used by consumers today is SMS messaging or, text messaging. Over the past few years, SMS messaging has produced over 100 billion dollars in revenue among cell phone companies. The world-wide SMS message cost in order to send a single text message is 2.6 cents. Most companies currently offer an unlimited text messaging service.

Most consumers are more scared of the actual price per phone. The price of a cellular phone depends on the contract, company and type of phone. AT&T provides phones ranging from ten dollars to hundreds of dollars. One of the most popular phones in the market today is the iPhone, provided by AT&T. The iPhone with a new contract only costs about two-hundred dollars; however, buying an iPhone without a new contract are costing consumers over five-hundred dollars for a single phone.

Although the industry has been affected by the poor economic events, the technology among different countries has flourished. 3G has become a very popular type of communication. 3G stands for Third Generation telecommunication. 3G was first advertised in Japan. The 3G network is still in its early years, so the price is relatively high because of high fees for frequency licensing and the cost of employing many teams of engineers to implement a nationwide network and then to maintain it.

Throughout Europe, the GSM or Global System for Mobile communications is used. GSM currently has over 475 million users in over 130 different countries which makes it one of the most dominant mobile service worldwide. Cell phone technology continues to be one of the fastest growing technologies in the market today. The cell phone has provided us with the World Wide Web, television and many more technologies in the palm of our hands. Cellular service is competing in two main network technologies, GSM and CDMA. In the United States, GSM phones use sim cards which is a removable card that allows instant access. For the most part, both networks provide similar service in the major areas like cities although GSM has a slight advantage in more rural areas. Cell phones are starting to allow developing countries “leap frog” technology. Cell phones are allowing developing nations to leap frog technology by providing the country with a reliable communications network. In parts of Africa, cell phones are providing a medical outlook with diseases such as AIDS. Medical officials are able to enter information in cell phones equipped with special data and technology. The technology allows medical officials to look up certain AIDS patients, prescription supply and other useful information. Among the developing countries, Africa has recorded the highest growth rate with a quarter of the population using a mobile form of communication. In the year 2000, only fifty Africans had a cellular phone while currently twenty-eight percent of Africans have a cellular service. India is another good example of a country that is deeply affected by cell phones. India is a rapidly moving country and their economy has erupted with cell phone usage. India’s economy grew so rapidly it is currently up to par with some of the most advanced countries. The cellular phone boosted India’s economic technology. One of the reasons cell phone technology is helping developing countries is because it is boosting business in different countries. Cell phone usage has helped business to decrease setbacks, reach certain goals and connect with other high-end board officials at other locations. One of the main reasons that cellular phones are allowing nations to leap frog technology is because of the internet access among cell phones. Most developing nations are unable to purchase computers because of the expense, so internet access among cell phones provide instant access at a much cheaper rate. Cell phones is a good example of technology that benefits three main groups of people. Entrepreneurs are affected because they make money by selling phones to different villages. Sellers of the “pre-pay” method benefit highly by developing countries because it is a cheaper type of method to use. Finally, users who generate business through cell phones benefit in developing countries because of employment opportunities. Cell phone usage in developing countries has increased so much it is estimated that ten more mobile phones are produced per one-hundred population in that last few years. The cell phone industry does not only provide us with some of the most advanced technology, but it is a very important industry toward making developing nations one step closer toward a competing economy.

Daily Use

Cell phones have become more than just an accessory for the masses; they have become an imagined necessity in countries all across the world. In the United States, studies show that over fifty percent of children own their own personal cell phones. In the United Kingdom, there are now more mobile phones than people in the country. The Russian market is up 89% in cell phone use while Italy, Sweden, Hong Kong and Great Britain have shown an increase of 100%. China has over 400 million subscribers, while Indonesia is expected to have over 50 million subscribers by the end of 2007.

With the excessive use of cell phones and increased number of cell phone subscriptions, society faces an etiquette issue. People are now using their cell phones in doctor's offices, movie theaters, restaurants and even weddings. The cellular phone etiquette debate will likely carry on for many more years as people get used to this relatively new technology and learn where it is acceptable to use it and where it is not.

Cell phone accessories are wide and varied. With the advent of Bluetooth technology, some of the phones we use seem antiquated. However, you may still be able to use Bluetooth technology with your old phone provided there is an adapter. There are just about as many accessories as there are different cell phones. Hands free devices are becoming more and more commonplace that there are even laws being passed requiring you to use them in your vehicle. If you are caught using your cell phone in your car without one, chances are you'll get pulled over and ticketed by the police. The good news, however, is that there are enough accessories for you now that makes hands free telephone service very, very easy.

There was a time when the cell phone was designed for one purpose only: to make telephone calls when away from a landline phone. As technology has grown and changed, cell phones have become much more than simply voice call machines. Even many low-end cell phones of today offer cameras with video recording capability, Internet connectivity, and features that make the phones more similar to Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or even small computers than to the landline phones that cell phones now replace.

As any computer user is well aware, one of the primary lures of the home computer is the ability to play games. Today's cell phones offer the same ability and modern advances in technology now allow cellular services to offer a dizzying array of game choices. Most cell phones come with a few simple games pre-loaded, along with demo versions of downloadable games. Downloading games costs money, but generally the price is low. Many services offer their games for a small repeating charge each month, billed directly to your cell phone bill, rather than an upfront cost to purchase.

Depending on the type of phone you own, you can even purchase face plates to change the color of your phone. Some of these face plates are personalized, which means you can add your own picture to them. How's that for showing off the family photos? Some phones are even small PDAs, which means it's like having a small computer in the palm of your hand. With technology growing at that speed it is, it won't be long until the whole cell phone will look like the little earpiece you use with blue tooth technology now.

Accessories for cell phones nowadays range from changing the face plates to linking with your PC at home. E-mail, text messaging, voice recording, digital camera, and even Mp3 players are coming standard on cell phones. As the technology grows so will the accessories that come with the cell phones. SMS Technology from Australia already has a wrist watch phone with a 1.1 inch touch screen that doubles as a key pad.

The new iPhone has so many magnificent features that it is no wonder why people are sitting on the edge of their seats awaiting its arrival. The iPhone is a combination of three products: a phone, an Internet device and a touchpad system. No Apple device would be complete without an iPod attachment. With the iPhone, you can listen to all of your music, audiobooks and still watch your television programs on the iPhone's crystal clear 3.5 inch widescreen. You can also synchronize and download music from your Mac or PC onto your phone whenever you want. Another feature that seems to be central to the cell phone of today is the camera. The iPhone has a camera and allows you to browse through your images and email them on the spot. The phone also has a navigation system that will give you maps and turn-by-turn directions in an instant.

The phone feature allows you to choose a name or address out of your phonebook by touching on a name with your finger. You may synchronize your address book from your PC or Mac and then drag two names together to create a conference call. When you receive voicemail messages, the iPhone will let you touch the message that is the most urgent for you to hear and leaving the other ones for later. It is the first phone that will allow you to listen to your voicemail out of order and delete messages without having to listen to them first. iPhone also uses a SMS application system that works like your spelling and grammar check on your computer. By fixing mistakes for you, the phone will allow you to save more time when trying to instant message or text someone.

In a general sense, cell phone usage will be on the rise for many years to come. The notion of cellular phone usage as being akin to a fad or a trend has quickly worn away; the cell phone is here to stay. As many people learn new ways to communicate, however, the cell phone that we all know and love today may well turn into a new piece of technology by tomorrow.

Future tech

A cell phone is one of the most unique forms of technology that has been created within the past one hundred years. Over the years we have gone from huge, junky cellular phones about the size of someone’s forearm, to cell phones that if you were not paying attention you wouldn’t even notice were there. To say the least, this form of technology has changed over time and keeps changing as the years go by. What is so unique about this technology though is not the fact that its appearance is rapidly changing before our eyes, but the fact that it has become the fastest growing technology ever. The number of cell phone users has increased drastically just in the past ten to fifteen years.


According to the CITIA website, which is a research center that mainly manages research and development, the percent of the United States population with wireless went from 13% in 1995 to 33% in 2000, and then in 2005 it reached to 69% and went to 84% in 2007. Also, the number of people who strictly only have wireless in their homes (meaning they have no landlines) was zero in 1995 and 2000, but then in 2005 in increased to 8.4% and then in 2007 it increased again to 15.8%. To go along with these statistics, CITIA found that from 1995 to 2007, which is only a little more than ten years, the number of minutes used and text messaging have more than doubled. Also, there was no such thing as text messaging in 1995, which might seem odd considering it is such a prominent form of communication these days, and the number of people using also had increased from 2000 to 2007.


Another reason that cell phones are a unique form of communication is the fact that it is not a single medium. Meaning, there is not just one use for cell phones anymore like there was when they were first put on the market. Many different mediums have merged together into a single technology. Some of these mediums are things such as an alarm clock, calculator, the internet, news, GPS, accessory, music, PDA, games, e-mail, and of course calling and texting people. No one has to really carry around a number of different gadgets in order to get all the information they need, because everything is now on your own cell phone. Also, another advantage to cell phones are that they a mobile. You can be just about anywhere in the world and be able to access all of these mediums that I mentioned above. You do not have to be at home or where there is a landline anymore in order to receive an important phone call from your friends, family, or business. Being mobile gives us more options and allows us to be the multi-tasking people that we truly are.


So, where are cell phones going to go from here? There are still a lot of things that could be embedded into a cell phone to make them even more high tech than they already are. Some ideas of what will come next came from a research report written in 2008 by Harris Interactive and CTIA. They believe that things such as an emergency transmitter, being able to translate any language instantly, to view 3D holographic displays, to be able to control things in your house, the ability to vote, to be able to text order to a restaurant, and some things such as using your cell phone to pay for things and to record TiVO television shows which has already been put to use by cell phone companies. It is remarkable to think that this report was written less than a year ago in September 2008, only seven months ago, and some of the things they predicted actually came true rather quickly. Pretty soon we are going to have companies texting us their advertisements instead of having us watch them on TV to get us to by their products. All of these ideas seem to be extreme for people today, but think about ten or twenty years from now when we do have all of this access, it will not be weird for the next generation to be able to text order to a restaurant or receive advertisements on their phone because that will be the norm for them.


So, the real question is, will technology ever stop changing? Will there always be a new cell phone that is better or faster than our old cell phones that will come out? When will enough be too much? According to the Harris Interactive and CTIA report in 2008, most people would use all of their predictions for what will come next on cell phones. Whether they would use it sometimes, most of the time, or all of the time, at least 50% of people would be using these new mediums on their cell phones. Of course there are some options that would be more popular than others and they might not be successful with everything, but the fact of the matter is that there are always going to be people who want the newest and best cell phone that comes out. There is always going to be a market for cell phones, or whatever the more improved version of a cell phone is, in the world because there are these kinds of people who are obsessed with these different mediums within a cell phone.


The cell phone has change the way we access the world and everything in it, and that is why it has made such an impact on the people in the world, and has become such a necessity. If cell phones were to disappear after having them for so long people wouldn’t know what to do or how to contact people, because we are so used to it. Cell phones are used all around the world, and it has become a common thread that connects every single country whether you live in the United States, Australia, London, or China. Being able to be connected with one another by a small piece of technology makes the cell phone very unique and further more makes it all the more important in our world.