Government // Mobile & Wireless
News
4/3/2013
02:02 PM
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Cell Phone Inventor Talks of First Cell Call

40 years ago today, April 3, 1973, the first cell phone call was made by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper. He called his competitor at Bell Labs to gloat at having beat them.

It was 40 years ago today, April 3, 1973. Martin Cooper, then a senior engineer at Motorola, made a cell phone call — the first one ever.

Cooper, now age 85, tells the story of this call in an interview with the BBC, embedded below. The call, in the presence of a journalist, was to his chief competitor, Dr. Joel S. Engel, who was head of Bell Labs: "Joel, this is Marty. I'm calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone."

Yes, the first cell phone call was for the purpose of gloating. Cooper says that Engel tells him he doesn't remember the call.

In the interview Cooper discusses some of the benefits to mankind that came from ubiquitous mobile phones. He also says that Motorola treated him well (even though he got $1 from it for signing away the rights to all his inventions).

He also criticized the mobile carriers for focusing on speed rather than reliability of coverage. "The emphasis of the carriers has been to market speed, and yet the technology exists today, and it's being adopted slowly ... that would give us really solid coverage and increase the capacity of the system."

Get Adobe Flash player

[Editors note: In retrospect, the first thing to say would be "Watson! Come quickly! I need you!"]

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government, May 2014
NIST's cyber-security framework gives critical-infrastructure operators a new tool to assess readiness. But will operators put this voluntary framework to work?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.