The cell phone inventor is thought to be Martin Cooper – many individuals contributed to the development of the cell phone however Cooper is generally considered to be the person responsible for making the handheld cell phone a reality.
The cell phone would not have been possible without the original invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell back in 1876.
Cooper was born on December 26, 1928, at the age of 26 he joined the Motorola telecommunications company.
At Motorola Cooper led a team of scientists through the development of some walkie-talkie radio sets. These devices were quite simple in that only a limited number where ever in use at one time; they were used successfully by the Chicago police department in 1967.
The development of a radio telephone system was much more complicated due to the requirement of having many different phones using the same band of frequencies and ensuring that different calls didn’t interfere with each other.
To solve this problem Cooper used an idea developed by Bell laboratories in the 1960’s. The idea was to have an antenna that would serve a particular area known as a cell.
Antennas would be placed across an area such as a city where mobile communication is required – the antennas would form a honeycomb type pattern of cells.
The same frequency could be used by neighbouring cells, so the more cells meant that more mobile calls could be made at the same time.
Early cell phones were similar in shape and size of a house brick – in fact Motorola’s first cell phone weighed 28lb or 12.7Kg!
The first call on a cell phone was from Cooper to a rival Bell laboratories engineer called Joel Engel. Cooper called him to boast about his achievement whilst walking the streets of New York.
The patent for a cell telephone system was granted to Martin Cooper and his Motorola team on September 16th 1975.