Remember some of the first mobile phones? They were enormous, cost several thousand dollars and only offered a few hours of talk time for every recharging. My first phone was a Siemens C61 – not exactly a brick phone and certainly didn’t put me into debt, but it is nothing compared to the smartphones offered today.
Around this time last year, we spoke to Bob Berner, Rogers Executive Vice President Network and Chief Technology Officer who joined Cantel (later known as Rogers wireless) as one of the first employees in 1985. He told us about his first mobile phone which I think is best described in his own words:
My first phone was a Mitsubishi car phone. It was on a cradle on the dashboard with the amplifier in the trunk and the antenna installed on the roof. Most phones we sold in the early days were car phones and had to be installed – they cost between $2,500 and $3,500 all in. There was also a bag phone version you could get, which was essentially a car phone in a satchel. Transportable phones soon became available – they were full-power, 3-Watt phones with a big battery and carrying handle attached – sort of like an army radio. The first handheld portable phone we sold was the Motorola 5000. That was an incredible piece of technology for the time and they sold for about $5,500 in Canada –that was real money back then! These phones now seem so large and clunky compared to what we are accustomed to today, but were they ever durable!
Well, we’ve come a long way since then and to help illustrate this point, check out this visual history of the mobile phone from our friends at Connected Magazine to see just how far we’ve come. The graphic is easier to see if you download it here.
Also, we recently started a thread in our Community Forums where you can post your own “evolution of wireless” pictures. Were you the proud owner of a “Zack Morris phone?” Dust off the photo album, get that pic scanned and post it here.
What was your first mobile phone?
Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard