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Are Cell Phones Becoming More Affordable?

The first mobile phone was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in September 1983, and was made available to consumers the following year. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X weighed in at a whopping 2 pounds (.9 kg) and quickly earned the nickname "The Brick." The DynaTAC 8000X gave users 30 minutes of talk time before needing to be recharged -- for 10 hours -- and it cost $3,995 USD. DynaTAC was an abbreviation for "Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage."

The first days of wireless:

  • On 13 October 1983, Motorola‚Äôs David D. Meilahn placed the first commercial wireless call on a DynaTAC from his 1983 Mercedes 380SL.

  • Bell Labs first proposed the idea of a cellular phone system in 1947, and petitioned the FCC for channels throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Motorola received a patent for portable cellular telephony in 1973, and went on to build a mobile product for use in automobiles. The first call from their prototype was reportedly a wrong number.

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