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 user 2007-09-14 at 10:56:00 am Views: 43
  • #18747

    Mobile phone technology turns 20
    The technology behind the mobile phone is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
    7 September 1987, 15 phone firms signed an agreement to build mobile
    networks based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM)
    CommunicationsAccording to the GSM Association there are more than 2.5
    billion accounts that use this mobile phone technology.Adoption of the
    technology shows no signs of slowing down with many developing nations
    becoming keen users of mobile handsets.

    Future phones
    Conway, head of the GSM Association, said the memorandum of
    understanding signed in 1987 is widely seen as the moment when the
    global mobile industry got under way.Although work on the GSM technical
    specifications began earlier, the agreement signed in 1987 committed
    those operators to building networks based upon it.   

    China has 445 million GSM customers
    There are 2.5 billion GSM connections worldwide
    64% of mobile users are in emerging markets
    About seven billion text messages are sent every day
    Source: GSM Association

    no doubt that at the time of the agreement in 1987 no one had an idea
    of the explosive capabilities in terms of growth that would happen
    after the GSM standard was agreed,” he said.Since then, he said, the
    numbers of people using GSM mobiles has always outstripped the
    predictions.Once the preserve of the well off, mobiles were now “the
    everyday gadget that’s essential to people’s lives,” he said.In the UK
    there are now more mobiles than people according to Ofcom statistics
    which reveal that, at the end of 2006, for every 100 Britons there are
    116.6 mobile connections.Figures from the GSM Association show it took
    12 years for the first billion mobile connections to be made but only
    30 months for the figure to reach two billion.”In the developing world
    they are becoming absolutely indispensable,” said Mr Conway.This was
    because handsets were now cheap and mobile networks much less expensive
    to set up than the fixed alternatives.

    Discarded mobiles, PA
    are so many phones that recycling them is a problemBut getting mobiles
    in to the hands of billions of people was just the start, said Mr
    Conway.”The technology is a gravitational force that brings in to its
    orbit a huge amount of innovators,” he said.In the future, he
    suggested, high-speed networks would be ubiquitous adding the
    intelligence of mobiles to anything and everything.”The technology will
    be in the fabric of your clothing, your shoes, in appliances, in your
    car,” he said.For instance, he said, the ubiquity of mobile technology
    could revolutionise healthcare and see people wearing monitors that
    gather and transmit information about vital signs.

    Phones too could change radically in the future.
    pull them out of your pocket and they’ll look like a map but unfold
    like a screen,” said Mr Conway. “We’re now on the verge of another wave
    and that’s going to be stimulated by mobile broadband.”