Timeline of Cell Phones and Wireless Communications

1876 - Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. The following year, the first private telephone was installed in the home of Charles Williams of Somerville, Massachusetts. By the end of 1880, 47,900 telephones were in use in the United States.

1895 - Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, proved the feasibility of radio communications by sending and receiving the first radio signal. Four years later, Marconi flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel.

1903 - The first international wireless conference was held in Berlin.

1906 - Reginald Fessenden successfully completed an 11-mile wireless telephone call from his laboratory in Brant Rock, Massachusetts.

1912 - The Radio Act was the first domestic legislation to address radio spectrum allocation.

1921 - One-way radio messaging service started by Detroit Police Department.

1941 - Motorola two-way radio installed in a police cruiser.

1946 - The first commercial mobile radiotelephone service was introduced in St. Louis.

1965 - AT&T’s Improved Mobile Telephone Service (IMTS) eliminated the need for push-to-talk operation and offered automatic dialing.

1968 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened Docket 18262 to address questions regarding spectrum reallocation.

1972 – Bell Labs receives a patent for its Mobile Communications System, which describes and enables handoffs between cells.

1977 - Experimental cellular systems launched in Chicago and the Washington, D.C./Baltimore region.

1981 - In May, the FCC announced the decision to award two cellular licenses per market—one for a wireline company and one for a non-wireline company.

1983 - Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) released using the 800 MHz to 900 MHz frequency band and the 30 kHz bandwidth for each channel as a fully automated mobile telephone service. AMPS is the first standardized cellular service in the world.

- Motorola introduced the DynaTAC mobile telephone unit, the first truly “mobile” radiotelephone. The phone, dubbed the “brick”, had one hour of talk time and eight hours of standby.

On October 13, 1983 - The first commercial cellular system begins operating in Chicago.

In December 1983, the second system activated in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. corridor.

1984 - The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association was founded.

1985 - The 100th cellular system is turned on in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

1986 - The FCC switched to a lottery system to license cellular markets. At the urging of industry, the FCC allocates an additional 10 MHz of spectrum for cellular telecommunications. Cellular subscribership tops 2 million.

- 1,000 cell sites across America

1987 - Industry tops $1 billion in revenue.

1988 - CIBER Record for carriers created, which allows nationwide wireless services

1989 – Motorola announces the MicroTAC personal cellular phone, which uses a flip-lid mouthpiece. The phone retails for an estimated $3000.

1990s - RAM Mobile Data Network brought online. CDPD packet networks begin deployment. GSM cellular systems support circuit-switched data.

1990 - Nextel Communications, Inc. files a series of waivers with the FCC to set up low power, multiple transmitter networks in six of the top U.S. markets. Cellular subscribership surpasses 5 million.

1992 - The FCC allocates spectrum in the 2 GHz band for emerging technologies, including Personal Communications Services (PCS). The number of cellular users pass the 10 million milestone. 10,000 cell sites across America.

1992 – World’s first commercial text message sent by employees of Logica CMG.

1993 – Bell Labs develops the DSP1616 chip, a digital signal processor used in millions of handsets. 

1994 – iDEN network technology, a packet-data network that integrates paging, data communications, voice dispatch and cellular capabilities, is unveiled.

1996 – Bell Atlantic Mobile launches the first commercial CDMA network in the United States.

- The Telecommunications Act of 1996 becomes law, in part designed to open other communications markets to competition. 38 million cell phones in use in the U.S.

1997 - Subscribership in the wireless industry—cellular, PCS and ESMR—surpasses 50 million.

- Industry benchmark reached: 100,000 direct carrier employment

- 50,000 cell sites across America

- Delivery of digital wireless data and voice networks (2G)

1998 - The average consumer used his or her phone for 122 minutes per month.

- Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Unwired Planet create WAP Forum.

- WAP 1.0 specifications published on the web.

1999 - Congress passes Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act.

2000 - Wireless subscribership in America exceeds 100 million.

- Digital wireless users outnumber analog subscribers

- Nearly 1 million Americans directly or indirectly employed by wireless. (Jobs in the wireless industry pay wages that are approximately 78 percent higher than the national average.)

2000 - Camera phones introduced in Japanese market.

2001 - The average wireless consumer uses his or her phone for 320 minutes per month.

- November 8, FCC votes to raise CMRS spectrum limits for individual carriers from 45 MHz to 55 MHz, and subsequently eliminate cap in January 2003.

2002 - FCC awards 90 MHz of additional spectrum for advanced wireless services.

- Delivery of digital wireless data and voice enhanced networks (2.5G)

On October 13, 2003 - 20th Anniversary of Commercial Wireless Communications.

Today Wireless Serves America

- Over 162 million Americans are wireless subscribers.

- Over $118 billion in capital investment, growing by $20 billion a year.

- 200,000 times each day, someone uses a wireless phone to call for help.

For weBoost Wilson Amplifier Buyers: Please note that amplifier part numbers which begin with "47" or "46" can be installed anywhere within USA and worldwide, whereas amplifier part numbers which do not begin with "46" or "47" are only available for installation outside United States of America. If purchasing part numbers which do not begin with "46 or 47" to be shipped within USA but for use outside USA, please complete and fax Legacy Cell Phone Signal Booster Customer Statement right after placing such an order. Thank you.

Regarding weBoost, Wilson Pro, and zBoost Amplifiers:

This is a CONSUMER device.
BEFORE USE, you MUST REGISTER THIS DEVICE with your wireless provider and have your provider's consent. Most wireless providers consent to the use of signal boosters. Some providers may not consent to the use of this device on their network. If you are unsure, contact your provider.
You MUST operate this device with approved antennas and cables as specified by the manufacturer. Antennas MUST be installed at least 20 cm (8 inches) from any person.
You MUST cease operating this device immediately if requested by the FCC or a licensed wireless service provider.
WARNING. E911 location information may not be provided or may be inaccurate for calls served by using this device.
Please note, the four largest carriers - AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint plus more than 90 regional carriers have given blanket consent for use of all boosters certified to the new FCC standards.

In order to help our valuable customers, we have compiled a list of most major wireless service provider's signal booster registries so you can easily register your existing or new cell phone signal booster after placing an order for it at our website. weBoost, WilsonPro, and zBoost are Wilson Electronics companies.

Please type your cell phone model in the search box at the top to view all available accessories for your phone model

Found Lower Purchase Price Elsewhere (Excluding Wilson Electronics Products)? Simply email and/or fax, Low Price Guarantee form if you find accessories or related supplies for less (excluding Wilson Products) and await our response during business hours to see whether we can match or offer a new lower cost. Competing retail suppliers or online stores must be located in USA or Canada. See product supply price guarantee form for details.

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