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A Brief History of Mobile Phones and Communication



Today marks the launch of the latest network, 5G. But how did we get here? In this blog and infographic, we go back to where it all began. Here, we’ll go over a very brief history of the development of mobile phones and networks.


The history of mobile phones and networks

  • 1983 - The first commercial mobile phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, is available and cost £2300. With a charge time of 10 hours, giving you the ability to call for just 30 minutes, it was far from the standards we expect today.
  • 1992 - The world's first SMS message sent in the UK, wishing Vodafone’s director a “Merry Christmas.” At first, text messages have a 160 character limit and couldn’t be sent between different networks until 7 years later in 1999.
  • 1999 - WAP launches on the Nokia 7110 making it the first phone capable of browsing the web. WAP gained popularity in the 2000’s but was quickly superseded by more modern technologies.
  • 2000 - BlackBerry releases their 857 which supported email and web browsing starting BlackBerry’s reign as the business phone kings. It has a monochrome screen and did not have telephone capabilities.
  • 2003 - 3G networks start being adopted worldwide, enabling access to the internet as we know it from a mobile phone. 3G can reach speeds of anywhere between 144Kbps all to way up to 20-40Mbps.
  • 2007 - The groundbreaking iPhone is released by Apple. The iPhone range has gone on to sell over 2 billion units around the world. The iPhone 2G was the first of its kind to ditch the stylus and physical keyboard in favour of a display users could directly interact with - which of course is still the standard today.
  • 2009 - O2 successfully demonstrates a 4G connection, providing internet speeds of up to 150Mbps. This is 5-7 times faster than 3G and allowed for reliable streaming of music and movies almost anywhere.
  • 2012 - Text messages reach their peak in the UK with over 151 billion being sent per month. Since then, the introduction of IM (instant messaging) has meant less SMS messages are being sent each month in favor of the free internet alternative.
  • 2016 - An estimated 63% of the world's population own a mobile phone. This is expected to reach over 67% during 2019.
  • 2017 - Over 55% of emails are opened on mobile phones, rather than computers. Smartphones also account for around half of website traffic.
  • 2019 - There are an estimated 4.68 billion mobile phone users around the globe and EE launches the first 5G network in cities across the United Kingdom. It is expected to offer internet speeds that are several times faster than 4G.


What is 5G?

There are multiple different network types that allow mobile devices to connect to the internet, 5G is the fifth-instalment of the most used network type. With each generation of the network, we tend to see a speed increase meaning faster downloads and uploads. So, if you enjoy streaming films or downloading games and music on the go, 5G is great news for you.

Mobile device management with Intrasource

Mobile Device Management software (MDM) is security software which allows for simple monitoring, security and overall management of employee devices within your business.

The need to work fast, efficiently and with flexibility is key to the success of the modern-day business. This means business mobile devices, such as laptops and phones, are being used more and more often within businesses. Because of this, MDM solutions are fast becoming a necessity rather than a ‘nice to have’ feature for business communications.

Find out more about our mobile device management service here or read our other mobile blogs such as why you need mobile device management or mobile connectivity in the workplace?

Read our other business phone systems blogs here.


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