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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Evolution of Mobile Telephone Systems

Cellular is one of the fastest growing and most demanding telecommunications applications. Today, it represents a continuously increasing percentage of all new telephone subscriptions around the world. Currently there are more than 45 million cellular subscribers worldwide, and nearly 50 percent of those subscribers are located in the United States. It is fore casted that cellular systems using a digital technology will become the universal method of telecommunications. By the year 2005, forecasters predict that there will be more than 100 million cellular subscribers worldwide. It has even been estimated that some countries may have more mobile phones than fixed phones by the year 2000.
The concept of cellular service is the use of low-power transmitters where frequencies can be reused within a geographic area. The idea of cell-based mobile radio service was formulated in the United States at Bell Labs in the early 1970s. However, the Nordic countries were the first to introduce cellular services for commercial use with the introduction of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) in 1981.
Cellular systems began in the United States with the release of the advanced mobile phone service (AMPS) system in 1983. The AMPS standard was adopted by Asia, Latin America, and Oceanic countries, creating the largest potential market in the world for cellular.
In the early 1980s, most mobile telephone systems were analog rather than digital, like today's newer systems. One challenge facing analog systems was the inability to handle the growing capacity needs in a cost-efficient manner. As a result, digital technology was welcomed. The advantages of digital systems over analog systems include ease of signaling, lower levels of interference, integration of transmission and switching, and increased ability to meet capacity demands. Table 1 charts the worldwide development of mobile telephone systems.


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