Timeline of mobile telephony

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This is a timeline of mobile telephony, attempting to describe the evolution of mobile phone networks, as well as crucial mobile device releases in relation to novel functionality.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
1900s Radio transmission is achieved by creating bursts of sparks generated by electrical voltages.[1]
1930s The idea of a cell phone begins.[2]
1940s Communication by mobile radios becomes more common. Most government agencies, as well as the rich people, own mobile radios.[3] AT&T and Bell Labs introduce cellular technology. However, mobile phones would not develop widespread use at the time.[4] US Signal Corps communicate via radio in field during World War 2.[5]
1960s Researchers develop the technology systems (like frequency reuse and handoff) that would lead to modern cellular networks.[4] In the United States, Bell Labs prepares a detailed plan for implementing the cellular system.[6] Soviet engineer Leonid Kupriyanovich develops very small mobile phones.
1970s 1G is developed by AT&T and Bell Labs early in the decade.[7] Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT) in Japan and Ericsson in Sweden begin testing cellular technology and start designing equipment that would facilitate commercial service provision in their respective home markets.[8] The first mobile call is made.[9]
1980s 1G is deployed.[7][6] Mobile phone technology starts to be released commercially.[10] Adding text messaging functionality to mobile devices begins.
1990s Mobile telephony revolutionizes telecommunications during the decade.[11] 2G Second–generation wireless telephone technology becomes available, [12] bringing the first digital systems to be deployed.[10][7] Mobile phone operators start offering prepay mobile phones. European and American networks start to split apart and compete against one another.[4] The IBM Simon is introduced, being possibly the world’s first smartphone.[13]
2000s Apple introduces the iPhone. Android operating system launches. 3G technology starts deployment.[7] Between 2000 and 2003, the mobile phone experiences two of the biggest changes in its physical configuration: The introduction of QWERTY keyboard by BlackBerry as a popular standard, and the arrival of LCD touchscreens.[14]
2010s A massive development in smartphone technology takes place. 4G technology starts deployment.[7] Mobile telephony keeps extending into developing and least developed countries. 5G technology is still in development phase as no standard for its deployment has been concreted.[15]

Full timeline

Year Event type Details
1876 (March 10) Prelude Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, makes the first phone call.[9] United States
1894 Prelude Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi transmits signals over the distance of 2 kms.[16]
1906 Prelude Canadian-born inventor Reginald Fessenden manages to broadcast music through radio.[16] United States
1908 Prelude A man claims to have invented a wireless telephone. Being considered so crazy for this time, he is accused of fraud. The charges are later dropped.[4]
1921 Prelude The Detroit Police Department introduce mobile radios in their police cars, giving rise to the car–to–car radios. However, the system doesn't work very well at the time.[3][17] United States
1924 Network technology Wireless phones are tested on trains running between Berlin and Hamburg.[18] Germany
1926 The first successful mobile telephony service is offered to first class passengers in trains of the Deutsche Reichsbahn on the route between Berlin and Hamburg.[19] Germany
1940 Technology Second World War: Hand-held radio receivers become widely available, opening up communications in battlefields around the world.[4]
1945 Network technology The first service created just for mobile phones launches in Saint Louis, but the service doesn't work well and it does not last.[3][17] United States
1946 (June) Network technology American company Bell Labs begins to offer mobile telephone services on vehicles in Saint Louis. A few weeks later, AT&T matches Bell Labs, offering its Mobile Telephone Service (0G equivalent), at the time a wide range of mostly incompatible mobile telephone services with limited coverage areas and a small number of available channels.[4] United States
1946 Network technology Interconnection of mobile transmitters and receivers with the Public switched telephone network (PSTN) begins in the United States, with the introduction of Mobile Telephone Service (MTS) by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.[20] United States
1947 Technology Engineers at Bell Labs seek ways to implement cell service in vehicles, theorizing that hexagonal cells would work best for them. The first car phone service is attempted. A car phone service opens between Boston and New York, but this service soon fails.[3] The same year, base stations for mobile phones come into being when engineers from Bell Labs develop the first stations.[4] United States
1947 Network technology Bell Labs is the first company to propose a cellular radio telephone network.[1][6] United States
1948 Service coverage The Mobile Telephone Service, initially only available in Saint Louis, becomes now available in about 100 towns in the United States. Using this service, an estimated 5,000 customers place approximately 30,000 calls each week. Each call has to be manually connected by an operator. The system also functions similar to a Walkie-Talkie: a button must be pushed down talk, then released to listen. The Mobile Telephone Service requires about 36kg of equipment in the vehicle. Expensive, it costs approximately US$ 15 per month (same buying power as $154.76 in 2017) plus an additional $0.30 to $0.40 per local call. [4] United States
1952 Network technology A-Netz network is launched as a Mobile Radio Network in West Germany.[4][21] West Germany
1956 Service launch The first ever partly automatic car phone system, Mobile System A (MTA), is introduced in Sweden. [22][23][3] Sweden
1957–1961 Product development Soviet engineer Leonid Kupriyanovich develops a number of mobile phones that look surprisingly similar to modern mobile devices. One of these devices weighs just 70 grams and can fit into the palm of the hand.[4]
1959 Network technology The Post Office Radiophone Service is launched in Manchester. The system requires callers to connect through an operator. However, that operator could connect users to any subscriber across all of Great Britain.[4] United Kingdom
1960 Network technology Ericsson Company releases the first fully automated mobile telephone. Introduced in Sweden, the system, known in Swedish as Mobiltelefonisystem A (MTA), allows for automated connection from a rotary handset (that’s the circular dialing knob to me and you) mounted within a car, but requires an operator to forward calls.[16][24][24] Sweden
1962 Network technology AT&T develops a prototype for the first generation cellular mobile communications technology.[25] United States
1962 Network technology Swedish Mobiltelefonisystem A (MTA) is replaced by Mobiltelefonisystem B (MTB), which uses transistorized mobile sets. This system would last until 1983.[24] Sweden
1963 Network technology Altai mobile telephone system (системы "Алтай") is introduced as a pre-cellular 0G radiotelephone service in the Soviet Union.[26] Soviet Union
1964 Pre-cellular VHF/UHF radio system launch Improved Mobile Telephone Service (IMTS) is introduced by AT&T as a replacement to Mobile Telephone Service (MTS) and improved on most MTS systems by offering direct-dial rather than connections through a live operator.[20]
1965 Network technology AT&T introduces the first major improvement to mobile telephony, creating the Improved Mobile Telephone Service, which allows more simultaneous calls in a given geographic area, introducing customer dialing, and reducing the size and weight of the equipment.[13]
1968 Network technology Bell Labs starts developing the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) standard.[6] United States
1969 Network technology Penn Central Railroad equips commuter trains along the New York-Washington route with special pay phones that allow passengers to place telephone calls while the train is moving.[27] United States
1969 Organization The Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) Group is established in Scandinavia and Finland with the purpose to develop a mobile phone system that, unlike the systems being introduced in the United States, focuses on accessibility.[18] Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland
1969 PNetwork technology Engineers from the Nordic countries meet and set up the first mobile phone system international standard, the Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT).[28] Scandinavia
1971 Terminology The term cell comes into play when AT&T proposes splitting phone service into different areas across the cities. These areas are called cells.[3][17] United States
1971 Network technology Autoradiopuhelin (ARP) network is launched in Finland. It is one of the first successful public commercial mobile phone networks.[25] Finland
1972 Network technology B-Netz mobile radio network is launched in West Germany.[4] Germany
1973 Technology milestone 10 years before a cell phone is first released onto the market, Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, makes the first analog mobile phone call using a heavy prototype model. The communication is carried out between Cooper and Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.[29][4][9] United States
1973 Handset release Motorola becomes the first company to mass produce the the first handheld mobile phone.[19]
1973 Mobile phone service A cellular telephone switching plan is described by Fluhr and Nussbaum.[30]
1977 Network technology A cellular telephone data signaling system is described by Hachenburg et al.[31]
1979 (December) Network technology 1G, the first generation of wireless telephone technology, is launched in Japan by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT). It becomes the world's first mobile phone network to be launched.[9] Initially deployed in the metropolitan area of Tokyo, within five years, the NTT network expand to cover the whole population of Japan and becomes the first nationwide 1G network.[20][12][4][8] Japan
1981–1986 Network technology The Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system opens in Sweden and Norway. NMT is the first mobile phone network to feature international roaming. The system is introduced in Denmark and Finland in 1982, and in Iceland in 1986.[32][9][20][25] Scandinavia, Finland
1981 Network technology The Saudi mobile phone network becomes operational.[6] Saudi Arabia
1982 Policy The European standard for protorypes is established.[28]
1982 Network technology Ericsson constructs the first European cellular systems for use by service providers in Scandinavia.[8]
1983 Network technology The Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) is officially introduced in North America.[33][25][34] The system would further expand into Canada in 1985, later in Mexico, Colombia, Korea, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and finally all Latin American countries.[35]
1983 (March 6) Handset release The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X becomes the first mobile for sale in the United States. It costs US$ 4000 (equivalent to $9,894.75 in 2017). 1G network launches in the country, with Chicago-based Ameritech using the Motorola DynaTAC mobile phone.[9][20][4] American engineer Martin Cooper is credited with developing the device.[5] United States
1983 Network technology The Total Access Communication System (TACS) (1G) is released in the United Kingdom as a variant of the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS).[35][20][6] United Kingdom
1983 Network technology AMR radiotelephone network (Automatizovaný Městský Radiotelefon in Czech language) enters full mode as the very first analog mobile radio telephone in Czechoslovakia.[36] Czechoslovakia
1984 Network technology Airborne cellular systems: The North American terrestrial system (NATS) is introduced in the United States by GTE Corporation.[20] United States
1985 Network technology The Nordic Mobile Telephone grows to 110,000 subscribers in Scandinavia and Finland, 63,300 in Norway alone, which makes it the world's largest mobile network at the time.[37] Scandinavia
1985 Technology milestone The first mobile call in the United Kingdom is made.[9] United Kingdom
1985 Network technology The Radio Telephone Network C (C-Netz), is introduced in Germany as a first generation analog cellular phone system.[38] Germany
1985 Study A study group of the Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU) begins to consider specifications for Future Public Land Mobile Telephone Systems (FPLMTS). These specifications would eventually become the basis for a set of “third-generation” (3G) cellular standards, known collectively as IMT-2000.[20]
1987 Network technology The Technical specifications for the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard are approved. Based on digital technology, it focuses on interoperability across national boundaries and consequent different frequency bands, call quality and low costs.[18]
1988 Program launch A group of government-owned public telephone bodies within the European Community announce the creation of a digital Global System for Mobile Communications (originally Groupe Spécial Mobile), referred to as GSM, the first such system that would permit any cellular user in one European country to operate in another European country with the same equipment. GSM would soon become ubiquitous throughout the continent.[20]
1989 Handset release Motorola MicroTAC 9800X is released. It becomes the first phone to feature a flip–down, and also the smallest and lightest phone available at the time.[39][9]
1990 Network technology The old AMPS networks are replaced by Digital AMPS (D-AMPS).[4]
1990 Expansion There are 12.5 millions subscriptions to mobile telephony worldwide.[40]
1991 Network technology Second-generation (2G) cellular telecom networks are commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja (now part of Elisa Oyj).[41] The first wireless Internet access becomes available as part of this generation.[12]. Developed to serve voice communication, 2G is first digital transmission system in mobile communication in history.[7] Also, the first GSM call is made by the Finnish prime minister in the country.[6] Finland
1992 Handset release The Nokia 1011 launches. It is the world’s first mass produced phone using the new GSM digital standard. It includes a monochrome LCD screen, extendable antenna and a memory capable of storing 99 phone numbers.[18]
1992 (December 3) Technology milestone Software architect Neil Papworth sends the first text message saying "Merry Christmas" to Richard Jarvis, a director at Vodafone.[42][9][17] United Kingdom
1992 Network technology The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) adopts a terrestrial Aeronautical Public Correspondence (APC) system known as the terrestrial flight telephone system (TFTS).[20]
1992 Digital mobile telephony introduction Digital mobile telephony is commercially introduced in Andorra, Denmark, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Hong Kong, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.[43] Andorra, Denmark, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Hong Kong, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom
1993 Technology milestone An early SMS text message is sent in Finland.[4] Finland
1993 Digital mobile telephony introduction Digital mobile telephony is commercially introduced in Australia, Austria, Greece. Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, United States and Nicaragua.[43] Australia, Austria, Greece. Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, United States, Nicaragua
1994 (August 16) Handset release The IBM Simon is released, featuring a touchscreen and is the first phone to feature apps. It costs US$ 899.[9] The IBM Simon is considered by many to be the world’s first smartphone.[4] United States
1994 Digital mobile telephony introduction Digital mobile telephony is commercially introduced in Belgium, the Channel Islands, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Kuwait, Malaysia, Netherlands, Qatar, South Africa, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Cameroon, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Madagascar, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.[43] Belgium, the Channel Islands, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Kuwait, Malaysia, Netherlands, Qatar, South Africa, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Cameroon, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Madagascar, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
1994 (November) Mobile phone service A patent for prepaid mobile phones (Patent Number 5826185) is filed in the United States.[44] United States
1995 Mobile phone service Fax, data, and SMS messaging services are launched commercially.[45]
1995 Digital mobile telephony introduction Digital mobile telephony is commercially introduced in Bahrain, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, French Polynesia, Lebanon, Macao, New Caledonia, Puerto Rico, Seychelles, Spain, Bulgaria, Colombia, Republic of Congo, Georgia, Gibraltar, India, Jordan, Kyrgyzistan, Lao, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Myanmar, Namibia, Reunion, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda and Uzbekistan.[43] Bahrain, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, French Polynesia, Lebanon, Macao, New Caledonia, Puerto Rico, Seychelles, Spain, Bulgaria, Colombia, Republic of Congo, Georgia, Gibraltar, India, Jordan, Kyrgyzistan, Lao, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Myanmar, Namibia, Reunion, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda, Uzbekistan
1995–1999 Network technology Europe and Asia become the first regions to deploy mobile connectivity in their underground assets.[46] Europe, Asia
1996 Handset release The Nokia Communicatoris released. It is the first mobile phone to enable internet connectivity and wireless email creating a new category of multi-use devices called smartphones.[47]
1996 Mobile operating system Palm OS is launched as a discontinued mobile operating system, designed for ease of use with a touchscreen-based graphical user interface.
1996 (January) Handset release The Motorola StarTAC is released as a clamshell mobile phone. Manufactured by Motorola is the first ever clamshell/flip mobile phone.[48][9][4] United States
1996 Handset release The Nokia 8110 is launched. Its distinctive styling is the first example of a 'slider' form factor.[9]
1996 Digital mobile telephony introduction Digital mobile telephony is commercially introduced in Argentina, Brazil, Brunei, Czechia, Dominica, Guam, South Korea, Libya, Mauritius, Oman, Panama, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Venezuela, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cote D'Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Guadalupe, Guernsey, Kenya, Lesotho, Macedonia, Mongolia, Senegal, Sudan, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.[43] Argentina, Brazil, Brunei, Czechia, Dominica, Guam, South Korea, Libya, Mauritius, Oman, Panama, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Venezuela, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cote D'Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Guadalupe, Guernsey, Kenya, Lesotho, Macedonia, Mongolia, Senegal, Sudan, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe,
1996 Mobile phone service MTN becomes the first mobile operator to introduce a prepaid cellular service in Africa, popularizing “pay as you go” in emerging markets.[49] Africa
1996 (September) Mobile phone service The first Prepaid card is called "Mimo", launched by TMN, the mobile phone operator of Portugal Telecom.[50] Portugal
1996 Mobile phone service MTN becomes the first mobile operator to introduce a Prepaid cellular service in Africa, popularizing “pay as you go” in emerging markets.[51] Africa
1997 Handset release Dutch technology company Philips introduces "The Synergy", an early attempt at a digital smartphone. The unit provides wireless access to e-mail, internet and faxes.[5][17]
1997 Handset release Little known German-made Hagenuk GlobalHandy becomes the first phone that has no visible external antenna.[18][52] Germany
1997 Mobile payment Coca Cola first introduces mobile purchasing, setting up vending machines that allow their customers to purchase drinks via text message.[53] United States
1997 (October) Mobile phone service Vodafone UK launches 'Pay as you Talk', packaging a GSM phone with a prepay tariff. United Kingdom
1997 (December) Handset release Nokia 6110 is launched. Hugely popular, It is the first phone from Nokia to have the popular Snake game pre-installed. [4]
1997 Digital mobile telephony introduction Digital mobile telephony is commercially introduced in Barbados, Bermuda, Chile, Malta, Slovakia, Uruguay, Virgin Islands, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Guinea, Martinique, Mozambique, Romania, Togo and Zambia.[43] Barbados, Bermuda, Chile, Malta, Slovakia, Uruguay, Virgin Islands, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Guinea, Martinique, Mozambique, Romania, Togo, Zambia
1997–1998 Network technology The Iridium system is introduced as the first LEO system intended for commercial service. It is designed by Motorola, and owned by Iridium LLC. The Iridium concept employs a constellation of 66 satellites orbiting in six planes around Earth, and are launched from May 1997 to May 1998. Commercial service begins in November 1998.[20]
1998 Mobile payment Mobile payments are trialled in Finland and Sweden.[1] Finland, Sweden
1998 Digital mobile telephony introduction Digital mobile telephony is commercially introduced in Bahamas, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guyana, Moldova, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Swaziland and Tunisia.[43] Bahamas, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guyana, Moldova, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tunisia
1998 The first downloadable mobile ringtone service is created and delivered in Finland when Radiolinja starts their service called Harmonium, invented by Vesa-Matti Pananen.[18][54] Finland
1998 Handset release The Siemens S10 is launched as the first mobile phone with a colour screen.[18] Germany
1998 Handset release The Nokia 5110 is released. It becomes an instant success and kickstarted the vogue for customising your handset."[18]
1999 Network technology Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) technical standard is made available for mobile devices.[9]
1999 Mobile operating system Nokia Series 40 mobile operating system is introduced with the release of Nokia 7110 device.[55]
1999 Digital mobile telephony introduction Digital mobile telephony is commercially introduced in Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Nepal, Syria, West Bank and Gaza.[43] Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Ethiopia}}, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Nepal, Syria, West Bank, Gaza
1999 Shigetaka Kurita in Japan invents the emojis.[18] Japan
1999 Handset release The BlackBerry 850 launches as the first BlackBerry phone. It would become famous for its super-easy email service.[18]
1999 Handset release The Motorola Timeport is released. It is the first tri-band GSM phone, meaning it works "everywhere around the world".[18]
1999 Mobile payment Movie tickets become available for purchase through mobile payment.[56]
1999–2002 Network technology Globalstar is released as a LEO system, consisting in 48 satellites that are launched about the same time as the Iridium constellation. Globalstar begins offering service in October 1999, though it would go into bankruptcy in 2002. A further reorganized Globalstar LP would continue to provide service thereafter.[20]
1999 Mobile payment The first mobile commercial payment system to mimic banks and credit cards is launched in the Philippines, simultaneously by mobile operators Globe Telecom and Smart Communications.[2]
2000 Network technology Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) networks evolve into General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) (2.5G) and become available. The first GPRS-compatible handsets become available for sale.[45][6]
2000 Handset release The Nokia 9210 Communicator is launched as the first serious attempt at an internet-enabled mobile phone.[18]
2000 (June) Handset release South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung releases SCH-V200, which integrates digital camera and mobile phone in a unit that can take up to 20 pictures at 640 x 480 (350,000 pixel CCD, 1 MB internal storage).[57] South Korea
2000 (November) Handset release Japanese multinational Sharp Corporation releases the J-SH04 mobile phone, the first ever phone with a built-in camera (110,000-pixel CMOS) and color display (256-color display).[58] Japan
2000 Digital mobile telephony introduction Digital mobile telephony is commercially introduced in Dominica, Grenada, Santa Lucia, Anguilla, Benin, Burundi, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.[43] Dominica, Grenada, Santa Lucia, Anguilla, Benin, Burundi, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
2000 Mobile phones on aircraft A study by the British Civil Aviation Authority finds that a mobile phone, when used near the cockpit or other avionics equipment location, will exceed safety levels for older equipment (compliant with 1984 standards). Such equipment is still in use, even in new aircraft. Therefore, the report concludes, the current policy, which restricts the use of mobile phones on all aircraft while the engines are running, should remain in force.[59] United Kingdom
2001 (October) Handset release Nokia 5510 is released, featuring a full QWERTY keyboard.[17]
2001 (October) Network technology The third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology 3G (FOMA W-CDMA services on the 2GHz) is launched in Japan, with a system offered by NTT DoCoMo.[20] For the first time, mobile devices are fast enough to support online video and music streaming.[4] Developed to serve data communication, 3G can send 10 times more data than 2G.[60] Japan
2001 Mobile payment Mobile commerce reaches $2.4 billion worldwide.[56]
2001 Technology The popularity of voice over IP grows with startlingly rapid progress, with the number of installed voice-over-IP networks, the number of players in the voice-over-IP arena, the dollars spent on voice-over-IP products, the number of channels shipped and even the capacity of voice-over-IP products, all having doubled within a year.[61]
2002 Handset release The first smart phone is invented.[3][17]
2002 (June) Organization The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) is formed as a standards body with aims at developing open standards for the mobile phone industry.[62]
2002 Handset release The Sanyo SCP–5300 is released. It allows users to view photos on a screen for the first time, instead of plugging it into a computer.[3][9]
2002 Research Finnish scientists claim that the electromagnetic radiation affect brain tissue.[1]
2002 Mobile payment Mobile payment is introduced in China.[63] China
2003 Handset release The Nokia 1100 is released. It would become the biggest–selling phone of all time.[9]
2003 Handset release A Blackberry phone, integrating a phone with fully functioning email, web browsing and the Blackberry Messenger, is launched.[18]
2003 Mobile payment An estimated 95 million users worldwide make purchases with their mobile phones.[56]
2003–2007 Expansion Mobile phone users surpass those using landline telephone in the United States.[40] United States
2004 Research German–led European laboratory study using mouse models announces that mobile radiation could cause genetic damage.[1]
2004 Handset release The Motorola Razr V3 is released. It would be the last great flip phone. Very thin at only 14mm.[18]
2005 Handset release The Casio GZ'One is released as the first waterproof phone.[9]
2005 Mobile operating system Android is acquired by Google. This step shows that Google is serious about developing mobile technology.[9] United States
2005 Policy The Cell Phone Recycle Act is passed in California.[3] United States
2005 Policy The Finnish government decides that the fastest way to warn citizens of disasters is the mobile phone network.[64] Finland
2005 Handset release Nokia launches the first Near-field communication (NFC)-enabled phone.[56]
Mid-2000s Network technology Underground systems in the Americas start deploying mobile connectivity in their underground assets.[46] Americas
2006 Study British researcher at the University of Staffordshire links mental wellbeing issues, such as stress, to mobile use.[1] United Kingdom
2006 (June) Network technology The world's first commercial mobile WiMAX service is opened by KT in Seoul. [65] South Korea
2006 (August) Mobile phones on aircraft Irish airline Ryanair announces that it would introduce a facility to allow passengers to use their mobile phones in-flight.[66]
2006 Mobile payment Mobile payment is introduced in India.[67] India
2007 Handset release Steve Jobs unveils the Apple Iphone, which is released. It has finger–input touchscreen, no keyboard, intuitive interface and apps[3][9][1]
2007 Policy Google opens Android operating system for free development and use, making its own services default for search, video and email.[9]
2007 Network technology The first 4G network is launched in South Korea.[9] South Korea
2007 Technology T-Mobile US rolls out a service, T-Mobile HotSpot@Home, that allows a single handset to switch seamlessly from cellular to Wi-Fi access in the home and at the 8,900 T-Mobile Hotspot locations in the United States.[68] United States
2007 (June 29) Handset/mobile operating system release Apple Inc. launches the first-generation iPhone, along with its mobile operating system iOS.[69]
2007 Coverage The total number of mobile phone subscribers in the world is estimated at 3.3 billion, equivalent of over half the planet's population.[64] 295 million 3G users are estimated around the world. This number accounts for 9% of the total worldwide number of mobile users.[4]
2007 Network technology Hong Kong and Buenos Aires become the first cities to install Wi-Fi in their subway systems.[70] Hong Kong, Argentina
2008 Policy The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) sets forward a list of requirements for what it calls IMT Advanced, or 4G. These requirements include data rates of 1 gigabit per second for a stationary user and 100 megabits per second for a moving user.[20]
2008 (March) Mobile phones on aircraft Emirates airline flights begin allowing in-flight voice calls on some commercial airline flights.[71]
2008 Network shutdown The whole Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) service is shut down across North America. This would be considered the end of an era.[4]
2008 Handset release HTC corporation releases the HTC Dream the first commercially released device to use the Linux-based Android operating system.[9]
2008 (july 10) Handset release The App Store (iOS) is launched, featuring 552 apps, 135 of which are free.[9]
2008 Product shutdown Microsoft deprecates windows mobile, saying that it can't compete with iPhone and Android. The development of Windows Phone begins.[9] United States
2008 Technology Several mobile phone providers in the United States start to include IPv6 capabilities in their phones.[72] IPv6 is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. United States
2009 (January) Service Whatsapp is launched.[9][73]
2009 Network technology Swedish telephone company TeliaSonera introduces the first 4G LTE network in Stockholm.[20] Sweden
2009 Mobile payment The mobile payment market reaches US$69 billion in sales.[56]
2010 Handset release Samsung Galaxy S smartphone is launched. Usurping former Android giant HTC, the Samsung Galaxy S range is still the most popular Android brand.[18]
2010 (June 7) Technology Apple announces FaceTime in conjunction with iPhone 4. A videotelephony product, FaceTime uses the device's front-facing camera to show the caller to the receiver, and vice versa. FaceTime works anywhere there is Wi-Fi.[74] United States
2010 Samsung, Nokia, LG Electronics, ZTE Corporation and Apple Inc. altogether control more than 70% of the world mobile phone market.[28]
2010 Policy The International Telecommunication Union decides that two technologies, LTE-Advanced (Long Term Evolution; LTE) and WirelessMan-Advanced (also called WiMAX), meet the requirements for a 4G.[20]
2011 Health The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization, classifies wireless radiation as Group 2B – possibly carcinogenic. This means that there "could be some risk" of carcinogenicity, so additional research into the long-term, heavy use of wireless devices needs to be conducted.[75]
2011 Mobile as a modem The Verizon iPhone is released. It includes the 'Personal Hotspot" feature which allows a user to use the iPhone as a wireless hotspot, with up to five devices connecting at one time.[76][77][78][79] United States
2011 Statistics As of date, 90% of the world's population live in areas with 2G coverage, while 45% live in areas with 2G and 3G coverage, and 5% live in areas with 4G coverage. By 2017 more than 90% of the world's population is expected to have 2G coverage, 85% is expected to have 3G coverage, and 50% will have 4G coverage.[80]
2012 Organization The British Government announces the establishment of a 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey.[81] United Kingdom
2012 Health A study of low-frequency radiation on humans finds "no evidence for acute effects of short-term mobile phone radiation on cerebral blood flow".[82][83] However, several animal studies demonstrate damage to the blood-brain barrier from phone radiation.[84][85]
2012 Statistics At the end of the year there are roughly 1.5 billion mobile broadband subscriptions, growing at a 50% year-on-year rate.[86]
2013 Technology Apple introduces FaceTime Audio. A version of FaceTime simply featuring audio-only, so only the user's voice is transmitted in the call.[87] United States
2014 Acquisition American corporation Facebook acquires Whatsapp for US$ 19 billion.[9] United States
2014 (June) Technology Apple announces WiFi calling for iPhone users with iOS 8. The new feature allows users to make and receive calls as well as send messages through a WiFi connection rather than using their voice or data plan.[88]
2015 (April) Technology WhatsApp Call is introduced for Android and iOS as a new voice calling service, enabling users to make phone calls over the Internet.[89]
2015 (August) Technology Deutsche Telekom starts to roll out IPv6 (dual stack) in their mobile network.[90] Germany
2015 (September) Program launch Verizon Communications announces a roadmap to begin testing 5G in field trials in the United States in 2016.[91]
2015 (October) Technology AT&T first introduces Wi-Fi calling, a feature that allows customers to place calls over Wi-Fi in instances where a cellular connection is poor.[92] United States, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
2015 Mobile pay Samsung Pay launches in South Korea as a mobile payment and digital wallet service that lets users make payments using compatible phones and other Samsung-produced devices.[93][56] South Korea
2015 (September 11) Mobile pay Android Pay is released as a digital wallet platform and online payment system developed by Google to power in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on mobile devices.[94] United States
2016 (February) NTT DoCoMo and Ericsson succeed in World's first trial to achieve a cumulative 20Gbit/s with two simultaneously connected mobile devices in 5G outdoor trial.[95]
2016 Mobile application The Pokemon Go app launches worldwide, using a free augmented reality game by means of the smartphone camera and location to show Pokemon characters in the real world. The game is massively adopted worldwide.[18]
2017 (April) Network technology Huawei announces having jointly with Telenor conducted successful 5G tests with speeds up to 70 Gbit/s in a controlled lab environment in Norway.[96] Norway
2017 (April) Technology All Regional Internet Registries confirm that IPv4 addresses are exhausted and cannot be allocated any more, implying all new organizations requesting a block of Internet addresses would be allocated IPv6 addresses.[97]
2017 (July) Telecom Italia Mobile signs a memorandum of understanding with the government of San Marino to upgrade its 4G network to 5G. It would be the first nationwide 5G network in the world.[98] Italy, San Marino
2017 Network technology As of date, more than 90% of the world's population is expected to have 2G coverage, 85% is expected to have 3G coverage, and 50% 4G coverage.[99]
2020 (March) The London Underground is expected to get 4G access in its tunnels and stations by this time.[100][101] United Kingdom

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

[1] [2]

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


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