144 years have passed since the first words spoken on the phone



The first telephone conversation in history took place in Boston, USA, between inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Thomas Watson on March 10, 1876.

“Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you,” Bell said on his experimental phone to Watson who was in another room but out of earshot.

Bell developed an acoustic telegraph and applied for a patent on it in 1875.

A year after its patent was granted, Bell has succeeded in making its telephone functional.

Bell’s invention originally had the same operating logic as the electric telegraph previously developed by inventor Samuel Morse, but it aimed to transmit the human voice naturally by encoding different audio frequencies as electrical signals instead of symbolic messages.

First telephone line

Bell’s successful experience initiated developments which paved the way for the practical use of the telephone. In 1877, the first telephone line was set up between Boston and Somerville, Massachusetts.

Telephone lines began to spread in the United States in the following years. In 1880, the number of lines of long cables carried on wooden poles reached about 50,000 in the country.

First continental conversation

Graham Bell held the first continental telephone conversation at the Panama-Pacific International Fair held in California on January 25, 1915. While on the West Coast of New York, Bell called his ex-assistant Watson, who was in the city of San Francisco by wired lines.

First intercontinental conversation

The first intercontinental telephone call was made using radio frequencies, not hard lines. On January 7, 1927, Evelyn Murray, Managing Director of Evelyn Post, and Walter S. Gifford, President of the American Bell Telephone Company, held the first telephone conversation between London and New York.

As laying telephone cables under the ocean is extremely expensive, landline telephone calls were not available until the first transoceanic was established between Ireland and the Newfoundland region of Canada in 1956.

Space technology

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched Telstar 1, its first communications satellite on July 10, 1962. Telstar 1 made it possible for the first time to transfer television broadcasts and telephone conversations by satellite.

Cordless phones

In 1970, the first cordless telephones were due to their narrow operating frequency. In 1986, the Federal Communications Commission allocated 47 megahertz and 49 megahertz for cordless phones in the United States, which allows devices to have a wider frequency and make them affordable and ubiquitous.

However, for mobile phones to become as widespread as they are today, the development of cellular technology, which works with signals from many sources that are efficiently transmitted and received in the atmosphere, should be developed.

Mobile phones

The infrastructure for cell phone technology was once created by a network established between three base stations transceiver in a land area. These stations provided magnetic cells to the network to provide the medium for the transmission of voice, data and other content. Each cell could transfer data using different frequencies in neighboring cells without allowing interruptions.

Mobile phone network technology, developed by Bell Laboratories in the United States in 1947, was first introduced for commercial use in metropolitan areas of the Japanese capital Tokyo by the Japanese Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Company (NTT) in 1979. This network infrastructure was extended to cover Japan in five years and the first generation (1G) mobile communication network was established.

Analog 1G cell technology was replaced by digital cell technology in the early 1990s. The second generation (2G) digital mobile network was introduced for commercial use in 1991.

In 1998, NTT announced the launch of its third generation (3G) digital mobile communications network in Japan. 3G was publicized in the United States in 2002 and in Europe in 2003.

4th and 5th generation network technologies (4G and 5G) followed 3G. 4G was first used in the United States in 2009. 5G, still in development, was launched in 2019.

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