Archive for December, 2011
Two-way radios (known as mobile rigs) used in vehicles such as taxicabs, police cruisers, and ambulances are not mobile phones (because they were not connected to the telephone network). However a large community of mobile radio users, known as the mobileers, popularized this technology which would eventually give way to the mobile phone. Originally, the rigs were installed permanently in vehicles, but later versions were developed that could be carried and thus could be used as either mobile or as portable two-way radios. These were known as transportables or “bag phones” and were equipped with a cigarette lighter plug.
In 1956, the first fully automatic mobile phone system, called MTA (Mobile Telephone system A), was developed by Ericsson and commercially released in Sweden. This was the first system that did not require any kind of manual control in base stations, but had the disadvantage of a phone weight of 40 kg (90 lb). MTB, an upgraded version with transistors, weighing 9 kg (20 lb), was introduced in 1965 and used DTMF signaling. It had 150 customers in the beginning and 600 when it shut down in 1983.
In 1958 the USSR also began to deploy the “Altay” national civil mobile phone service specially for motorists. The newly-developed mobile telephone system was based on Soviet MRT-1327 standard. The main developers of the Altay system were the Voronezh Science Research Institute of Communications (VNIIS) and the State Specialized Project Institute (GSPI). In 1963 this service started in Moscow, and in 1970 the Altay service already was deployed in 30 cities of the USSR. The last upgraded versions of the Altay system are still in use in some places of Russia as a trunking system.