Business

Mobile phone turns 40 with 29 million in use in Australia

Martin Cooper made history when in April 1973 he made the first phone call from a mobile phone
Martin Cooper made history when in April 1973 he made the first phone call from a mobile phone

THE 40th anniversary of the mobile phone passed by quietly yesterday, with no celebration for the device which has become an integral part of modern society.

On April 3, 1973, Motorola engineer and general manager of the communications systems division Martin Cooper talked his way into the history books by becoming the first person to make a call on a handheld cell phone in public.

Dr Cooper lifted the relatively enormous Motorola DynaTAC to his ear while standing on Sixth Ave, New York, to place a call that would be remembered as the debut of mobile communications.

In an interview with technology website The Verge, last year, Dr Cooper said the call was to Bell Labs rival Joel Engler, who was also working to pioneer mobile technology.

"Joel, this is Marty. I'm calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone," he said.

Gawking New Yorkers were inevitably curious and many would have tuned in to witness the DynaTAC's announcement at a press conference soon after.

The DynaTAC cost about $4000, weighed nearly a kilogram, had 35 minutes of talk-time and a battery life of 20 minutes, which was considered a stunning achievement at the time.

Today's smart phones offer a wide variety of functions, including text messaging, browsing the internet and snapping photos, all of which are often taken for granted.

And the DynaTAC's debut, marked by a simple phone call, was the crucial beginning of the communication revolution.

According to independent researcher BuddeComm there is an estimated 29 million mobile phones in Australia, despite our population of only 23 million.

Topics:  mobile phones


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

New Ballina chamber board looks to the future

The full Ballina Chamber of Commerce board at the Ballina Coast & Hinterland Northern Star Business Excellence Awards in 2015.

A new board have been elected for the Ballina Chamber of Commerce

Bring home the bacon at Northern Rivers festival

PIGS WILL FLY: A giant pig was joined by Alstonville Lions Club’s Les Wiles and Summerland Credit Union’s Belindar Cordery and others to promote this Sunday’s Alstonville Family Festival.

Get piggy at the Alstonville Family Festival

Welcome to Northern Rivers’ first golf course of its kind

IT’S OPEN: The Ballina Disc Golf Course at Bicentennial Gardens was officially opened last week by US-born disc golf player Jesse Amos, who pushed for the course, and Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson.

Reports of at least one hole-in-one already

Latest deals and offers

$4 million announced for Ballina airport expansion

BALLINA Byron Gateway Airport will receive $4 million in funding to improve facilities to accommodate increased visitor numbers.

New Ballina chamber board looks to the future

The full Ballina Chamber of Commerce board at the Ballina Coast & Hinterland Northern Star Business Excellence Awards in 2015.

A new board have been elected for the Ballina Chamber of Commerce

Bring home the bacon at Northern Rivers festival

PIGS WILL FLY: A giant pig was joined by Alstonville Lions Club’s Les Wiles and Summerland Credit Union’s Belindar Cordery and others to promote this Sunday’s Alstonville Family Festival.

Get piggy at the Alstonville Family Festival

Welcome to Northern Rivers’ first golf course of its kind

IT’S OPEN: The Ballina Disc Golf Course at Bicentennial Gardens was officially opened last week by US-born disc golf player Jesse Amos, who pushed for the course, and Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson.

Reports of at least one hole-in-one already

Who wants to be an engineer?

Sparks flly as the laser cutter slices through a 3/4 in sheet of steel at Adnought Sheet metal Fabrications. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Calling young people who have thought about an engineering career

'Urgent repairs' needed at Ballina rugby league club

Ballina Seagulls players pictured in September 2015.

Ballina Seagulls fans advised not to sit in grandstand

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest