Most of us would be familiar with the term 2G technology and 3G mobile phones and that the stands for Generation. But, what exactly going on this mean and where did all this start? What improvement has this made to the mobile phone sets we use now? Let us start with where it all started.
In 1910 Lars Magnus Ericsson fitted a telephone into his car and while he was travelling in his own car, Lars Magnus Ericsson would stop at places where the telephone lines were accessible and with a pair of electric wires, Lars Magnus Ericsson would connect them to the national telephone network. Maybe, this was the birth of mobile telephone sets, not exactly mobile though. A fully automatic mobile system called MTA was first developed by Ericsson and was commercially released in Sweden in the year 1956. With a weight of 40 kg, that did not gain much popularity, though that was fully automatic. The upgraded version called MTB was introduced 9 years later with a weight of 9 kg only. By the time it was shut down in 1983 that had around 600 customers.
In the 1957, a soviet radio engineer called Leonid Kupriyanovich created a portable mobile phone and called it LK-1. This was truly mobile as it weighed only 3kg only, a great improvement from its predecessors. It had a small handset with an antenna and a rotary dial in it. It could operate up to a distance of 20-30 kilometers from the base station and had a more battery life of 20 -30 hrs. Each station could serve up to 6 customers or more. The very next year he had upgraded his radio phone to weigh only 500 grams only. At this time public found that the mandatory stay inside the cell area to make a prolonged phone call was very annoying. To solve this problem Amos E. Joel Jr., a Bell Labs engineer, in 1970, invented the automatic phone call hand off system which allowed the phones to move through various cell areas without the phone call getting disrupted or loss of conversation. The first successful public commercial mobile phone network was launched in 1971 at Finland. This is being viewed as the zero G cellular networks as it had a slightly better coverage area than previous networks.
In the year 1990’s 2G phone systems were introduced. These were characterized by the use of digital circuit switched transmission and thus faster phone to network signaling was possible in this. The frequencies used by both 1G and 2G systems overlapped each other. This spelled doom for 1G systems and 1g was rapidly closed down. By this time large brick sized phones gave way to small 100-200g only hand-held models and this became the norm till to date.