Funny Things to Ponder

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Mobile phone

Mobile phone

Motorola L7 mobile phone
A mobile phone, cell phone or hand phone is an electronic device used to make mobile telephone calls across a wide geographic area, served by many public cells, allowing the user to be mobile. By contrast, a cordless telephone is used only within the range of a single, private base station, for example within a home or an office.
A mobile phone can make and receive telephone calls to and from the public telephone network which includes other mobiles and fixed-line phones across the world. It does this by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator.
In addition to telephony, modern mobile phones also support a wide variety of other services such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, gaming and photography. Mobile phones that offer these more general computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones.
The first hand-held mobile phone was demonstrated by Dr Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing 2 kg.[1] In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first to be commercially available. In the twenty years from 1990 to 2010, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million to over 4.6 billion, penetrating the developing economies and reaching the bottom of the economic pyramid.[2][3]

History

History

An evolution of mobile phones
Radiophones have a long and varied history going back to Reginald Fessenden's invention and shore-to-ship demonstration of radio telephony, through the Second World War with military use of radio telephony links and civil services in the 1950s.
The first mobile telephone call made from a car occurred in St. Louis, Missouri, USA on June 17, 1946, using the Bell System's Mobile Telephone Service, but the system was impractical from what is considered a portable handset today. The equipment weighed 80 pounds (36 kg), and the AT&T service, basically a massive party line, cost US$30 per month (equal to $337.33 today) plus 30–40 cents per local call, equal to $3.37 to $4.5 today.[4]
In 1956, the world’s first partly automatic car phone system, Mobile System A (MTA), was launched in Sweden. MTA phones were composed of vacuum tubes and relays, and had a weight of 40 kg. In 1962, a more modern version called Mobile System B (MTB) was launched, which was a push-button telephone, and which used transistors to enhance the telephone’s calling capacity and improve its operational reliability, thereby reducing the weight of the apparatus to 10 kg. In 1971, the MTD version was launched, opening for several different brands of equipment and gaining commercial success.
Example of an early fixed phone
Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive is considered to be the inventor of the first practical mobile phone for handheld use in a non-vehicle setting, after a long race against Bell Labs for the first portable mobile phone. Using a modern, if somewhat heavy portable handset, Cooper made the first call on a handheld mobile phone on April 3, 1973 to his rival, Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.[7]
The first commercially automated cellular network (the 1G) was launched in Japan by NTT in 1979, initially in the metropolitan area of Tokyo. Within five years, the NTT network had been expanded to cover the whole population of Japan and became the first nationwide 1G network. In 1981, this was followed by the simultaneous launch of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.[8] NMT was the first mobile phone network featuring international roaming. The first 1G network launched in the USA was Chicago-based Ameritech in 1983 using the Motorola DynaTAC mobile phone. Several countries then followed in the early-to-mid 1980s including the UK, Mexico and Canada.
The first "modern" network technology on digital 2G (second generation) cellular technology was launched by Radiolinja (now part of Elisa Group) in 1991 in Finland on the GSM standard, which also marked the introduction of competition in mobile telecoms when Radiolinja challenged incumbent Telecom Finland (now part of TeliaSonera) who ran a 1G NMT network.
In 2001, the first commercial launch of 3G (Third Generation) was again in Japan by NTT DoCoMo on the WCDMA standard.[9]
One of the newest 3G technologies to be implemented is High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). It is an enhanced 3G (third generation) mobile telephony communications protocol in the high-speed packet access (HSPA) family, also coined 3.5G, 3G+ or turbo 3G, which allows networks based on Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity

Features

Features

A printed circuit board inside a Nokia 3210
All mobile phones have a number of features in common, but manufacturers also try to differentiate their own products by implementing additional functions to make them more attractive to consumers. This has led to great innovation in mobile phone development over the past 20 years.
The common components found on all phones are:
  • A battery, typically rechargeable, providing the power source for the phone functions
  • An input mechanism to allow the user to interact with the phone. The most common input mechanism is a keypad, but touch screens are also found in some high-end smartphones.
  • Basic mobile phone services to allow users to make calls and send text messages.
  • All GSM phones use a SIM card to allow an account to be swapped among devices. Some CDMA devices also have a similar card called a R-UIM.
  • Individual GSM, WCDMA, iDEN and some satellite phone devices are uniquely identified by an International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
Low-end mobile phones are often referred to as feature phones, and offer basic telephony, as well as functions such as playing music and taking photos, and sometimes simple applications based on generic managed platforms such as Java ME or BREW. Handsets with more advanced computing ability through the use of native software applications became known as smartphones. The first smartphone was the Nokia 9000 Communicator in 1996 which added PDA functionality to the basic mobile phone at the time. As miniaturization and increased processing power of microchips has enabled ever more features to be added to phones, the concept of the smartphone has evolved, and what was a high-end smartphone five years ago, is a standard phone today.
Several phone series have been introduced to address a given market segment, such as the RIM BlackBerry focusing on enterprise/corporate customer email needs; the SonyEricsson Walkman series of musicphones and Cybershot series of cameraphones; the Nokia Nseries of multimedia phones, the Palm Pre the HTC Dream and the Apple iPhone.
Other features that may be found on mobile phones include GPS navigation, music (MP3) and video (MP4) playback, RDS radio receiver, alarms, memo recording, personal digital assistant functions, ability to watch streaming video, video download, video calling, built-in cameras (1.0+ Mpx) and camcorders (video recording), with autofocus and flash, ringtones, games, PTT, memory card reader (SD), USB (2.0), dual line support, infrared, Bluetooth (2.0) and WiFi connectivity, instant messaging, Internet e-mail and browsing and serving as a wireless modem. Nokia and the University of Cambridge demonstrated a bendable cell phone called the Morph.[10] Some phones can make mobile payments via direct mobile billing schemes or through contactless payments if the phone and point of sale support Near Field Communication (NFC).[11] Some of the largest mobile phone manufacturers and network providers along with many retail merchants support, or plan to support, contactless payments through NFC-equipped mobile phones.
Some phones have an electromechanical transducer on the back which changes the electrical voice signal into mechanical vibrations. The vibrations flow through the cheek bones or forehead allowing the user to hear the conversation. This is useful in the noisy situations or if the user is hard of hearing. [15]

SIM card

SIM card

Typical mobile phone SIM card
GSM mobile phones require a small microchip called a Subscriber Identity Module or SIM Card, to function. The SIM card is approximately the size of a small postage stamp and is usually placed underneath the battery in the rear of the unit. The SIM securely stores the service-subscriber key (IMSI) used to identify a subscriber on mobile telephony devices (such as mobile phones and computers). The SIM card allows users to change phones by simply removing the SIM card from one mobile phone and inserting it into another mobile phone or broadband telephony device.
A SIM card contains its unique serial number, internationally unique number of the mobile user (IMSI), security authentication and ciphering information, temporary information related to the local network, a list of the services the user has access to and two passwords (PIN for usual use and PUK for unlocking).
SIM cards are available in three standard sizes. The first is the size of a credit card (85.60 mm × 53.98 mm x 0.76 mm). The newer, most popular miniature version has the same thickness but a length of 25 mm and a width of 15 mm, and has one of its corners truncated (chamfered) to prevent misinsertion. The newest incarnation known as the 3FF or micro-SIM has dimensions of 15 mm × 12 mm. Most cards of the two smaller sizes are supplied as a full-sized card with the smaller card held in place by a few plastic links; it can easily be broken off to be used in a device that uses the smaller SIM.
The first SIM card was made in 1991 by Munich smart card maker Giesecke & Devrient for the Finnish wireless network operator Radiolinja. Giesecke & Devrient sold the first 300 SIM cards to Elisa (ex. Radiolinja).
Those cell phones that do not use a SIM Card have the data programmed in to their memory. This data is accessed by using a special digit sequence to access the "NAM" as in "Name" or number programming menu. From there, information can be added, including a new number for the phone, new Service Provider numbers, new emergency numbers, new Authentication Key or A-Key code, and a Preferred Roaming List or PRL. However, to prevent the phone being accidentally disabled or removed from the network, the Service Provider typically locks this data with a Master Subsidiary Lock (MSL). The MSL also locks the device to a particular carrier when it is sold as a loss leader.
The MSL applies only to the SIM, so once the contract has expired, the MSL still applies to the SIM. The phone, however, is also initially locked by the manufacturer into the Service Provider's MSL. This lock may be disabled so that the phone can use other Service Providers' SIM cards. Most phones purchased outside the U.S. are unlocked phones because there are numerous Service Providers that are close to one another or have overlapping coverage. The cost to unlock a phone varies but is usually very cheap and is sometimes provided by independent phone vendors.
A similar module called a Removable User Identity Module or RUIM card is present in some CDMA networks, notably in China and Indonesia.
Multi-card hybrid phones
A hybrid mobile phone can take more than one SIM card, even of different types. The SIM and RUIM cards can be mixed together, and some phones also support three or four SIMs[32][33]
From 2010 onwards they became popular in India and Indonesia and other emerging markets,[34] attributed to the desire to obtain the lowest on-net calling rate.

Mobile phones in society

Mobile phones in society

Market share

Quantity Market Shares by Gartner
(New Sales)
BRAND

Percent
Nokia 2009
  
36.4%
Nokia 2010
  
28.9%
Samsung 2009
  
19.5%
Samsung 2010
  
17.6%
LG Electronics 2009
  
10.1%
LG Electronics 2010
  
7.1%
Research In Motion 2009
  
2.8%
Research In Motion 2010
  
3.0%
Apple 2009
  
2.1%
Apple 2010
  
2.9%
Others-1 2009
  
12.6%
Others-1 2010
  
9.8%
Others-2 2009
  
16.5%
Others-2 2010
  
30.6%
Note: Others-1 consist of Sony Ericsson, Motorola, ZTE, HTC and Huawei.
Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants 1997–2007
The world's largest individual mobile operator by subscribers is China Mobile with over 500 million mobile phone subscribers.[37] Over 50 mobile operators have over 10 million subscribers each, and over 150 mobile operators have at least one million subscribers by the end of 2009 (source wireless intelligence). In February 2010, there were 4.6 billion mobile phone subscribers, a number that is estimated to grow.[38]
Competitive forces emerged in the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) region at Q3 2010 to the detriment of market leader Nokia. Brands such as Micromax, Nexian, and i-Mobile chipped away at Nokia's market share plus Android powered smartphones also gained momentum across the region at the cost of Nokia.
Based on IDC India, Nokia's market share dropped significantly to 36 percent in the second quarter, from 56.8 percent in the same quarter last year and further drop to 31.5 percent in the third quarter, reflecting the growing share of Chinese and Indian vendors of low-end mobile phones.[39]
Based on IDC in the last quarter of 2010, RIM has been knocked out from the top five list global mobile phone sellers. The number one rank is still Nokia followed by Samsung, LG Electronics, ZTE and Apple. For the first time Chinese ZTE is among the top five list and mainly make of lower cost phones.[40]
For the year of 2010, Sony Ericsson and Motorola are out from the top of five list and have been replaced by LG Electronics and Apple. Significant increase from 16.5 percent to 30.6 percent has been done by many small not yet recognized brands (some of them are new brands) – Others-2. Total sales in 2010 to end users were 1.6 billion units or increase by 31.8 percent from the year of 2009.[41]
At April 6, 2011 market capitalization of HTC surpassed Nokia with $33.8 billion over $33.4 billion respectively. The credit agency was also downgraded Nokia's debt from A2 to A3.[42]
Top Five Mobile Phone Market Share
Source Date Nokia SAMSUNG LG Apple ZTE Others References
IDC Q1/2011 29.2% 18.8% 6.6% 5.0% 4.1% 36.3% [43]
  • Source: IDC Worlwide Mobile Phone Trackers, April 28, 2011
  • Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors
By year-over-year at Q1, Nokia dropped significantly, but Apple rose significantly, while Others still rose and achieved more than a third of market share. Vendors shipped 371.8 million units in Q1 2011 compared to 310.5 million units in Q1 2010 or growing by 19.8 percent.

Usage

Usage


Mobile phones are used for a variety of purposes, including keeping in touch with family members, conducting business, and having access to a telephone in the event of an emergency. Some people carry more than one cell phone for different purposes, such as for business and personal use. Multiple SIM cards may also be used to take advantage of the benefits of different calling plans—a particular plan might provide cheaper local calls, long-distance calls, international calls, or roaming. A study by Motorola found that one in ten cell phone subscribers have a second phone that often is kept secret from other family members. These phones may be used to engage in activities including extramarital affairs or clandestine business dealings.[48] The mobile phone has also been used in a variety of diverse contexts in society, for example:
  • Organizations that aid victims of domestic violence may offer a cell phone to potential victims without the abuser's knowledge. These devices are often old phones that are donated and refurbished to meet the victim's emergency needs.[49]
  • The advent of widespread text messaging has resulted in the cell phone novel; the first literary genre to emerge from the cellular age via text messaging to a website that collects the novels as a whole.[50] Paul Levinson, in Information on the Move (2004), says "...nowadays, a writer can write just about as easily, anywhere, as a reader can read" and they are "not only personal but portable."
  • Mobile telephony also facilitates activism and public journalism being explored by Reuters and Yahoo![51] and small independent news companies such as Jasmine News in Sri Lanka.
  • Mobile phones help lift poor out of poverty. The United Nations has reported that mobile phones—spreading faster than any other information technology—can improve the livelihood of the poorest people in developing countries. The economic benefits of mobile phones go well beyond access to information where a landline or Internet is not yet available in rural areas, mostly in Least Developed Countries. Mobile phones have spawned a wealth of micro-enterprises, offering work to people with little education and few resources, such as selling airtime on the streets and repairing or refurbishing handsets.[52]
  • In Mali and some African countries, villagers sometimes had to go from village to village all day, covering up to 20 villages, to let friends and relatives know about a wedding, a birth or a death, but such travel is no longer necessary if the villages are within the coverage area of a mobile phone network. Like in many African countries, the coverage is better than that of landline networks, and most people own a mobile phone. However, small villages have no electricity, leaving mobile phone owners to have to recharge their phone batteries using a solar panel or motorcycle battery.[53]
  • The TV industry has recently started using mobile phones to drive live TV viewing through mobile apps, advertising, social tv, and mobile TV.[54] 86% of Americans use their mobile phone while watching TV.
  • In March 2011, a pilot project experimenting with branchless banking was launched by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank, and Bank Harapan Bali, a subsidiary of Bank Mandiri—the biggest bank in Indonesia and one of the cellular operators in Bali. Its aim is to increase the amount of bank customers. In Indonesia, only 60 million people have a bank account even though banks have existed for more than a hundred years, whereas 114 million people have become users of mobile phones in only two decades. Branchless banking has been successful in Kenya, South Africa and Philippines.

Restrictions

Restrictions

While driving

Texting in stop-and-go traffic in New York City
Mobile phone use while driving is common but controversial. Being distracted while operating a motor vehicle has been shown to increase the risk of accident. Because of this, many jurisdictions prohibit the use of mobile phones while driving. Egypt, Israel, Japan, Portugal and Singapore ban both handheld and hands-free use of a mobile phone whilst many other countries—including the UK, France, and many U.S. states—ban handheld phone use only, allowing hands-free use.
Due to the increasing complexity of mobile phones, they are often more like mobile computers in their available uses. This has introduced additional difficulties for law enforcement officials in distinguishing one usage from another as drivers use their devices. This is more apparent in those countries which ban both handheld and hands-free usage, rather those who have banned handheld use only, as officials cannot easily tell which function of the mobile phone is being used simply by visually looking at the driver. This can lead to drivers being stopped for using their device illegally on a phone call when, in fact, they were using the device for a legal purpose such as the phone's incorporated controls for car stereo or satnav.
A recently published study has reviewed the incidence of mobile phone use while cycling and its effects on behaviour and safety.[58]

In schools

Some schools limit or restrict the use of mobile phones. Schools set restrictions on the use of mobile phones because of the use of cell phones for cheating on tests, harassment and bullying, causing threats to the schools security, distractions to the students, and facilitating gossip and other social activity in school. Many mobile phones are banned in school locker room facilities, public restrooms and swimming pools due to the built-in cameras that most phones now feature.