Evolvement of Wireless Phone Service
For young people today the idea of being without wireless service is something of which they have no knowledge. However, for those who grew up in the 80’s and earlier it is a trend they have learned to watch with amazement. Certainly, car phones were the earliest form of wireless phone service but the earliest models were useful only in the car. It was only some time later that it became possible to remove the phone from your car and carry it with you for short periods. Even then, the service was often unreliable and communication was impossible in some areas.
The early 90s brought the first truly mobile device, the “bag phone,” so called because it was heavy and bulky and came with a bag in which the user carried it. Although an improvement over the mobility of the car phone, it was still a far cry from what we know today. In fact, early wireless phone service was very expensive with plans covering only the cost of connecting to the network. Making a call could cost as much as $.60 a minute, sometimes more, depending on the service provider and where you were calling. Early wireless phone service did not include features we know today other than perhaps voice mail capability and that was not automatic as it is today. It was not unusual to receive a message that stated, “The wireless phone user you have reached is not available. Please try your call again later.”
When we began to approach the 21st century wireless phone service, as we now know it began to evolve. Voice mail capabilities became common and text messaging was introduced. It’s important to remember that with early wireless phone service text messaging was a part of your total minutes and was usually charged as two minutes of usage. That made it difficult for users to keep track of both phone service and text messaging, so it was a welcome change when text message became a separate part of the overall wireless phone service options. We have since seen the introduction of many features most of which began as an additional charge on the service plan but are now standard or inexpensive features with most plans.
Wireless phone service today is quite advanced over what it was in the beginning. In fact, the first wireless phone service users were typically doctors and other types of emergency personnel who needed to stay in contact with their homes or offices. The number of wireless phone service providers was also very limited as were towers making reception often impossible in some areas. While features were limited in the beginning we can now boast of voice mail, text messaging, picture messaging, music players, camera and video capabilities and much more on modern wireless devices. Navigation tools and the ability to connect to the Internet have also come a long way as has two-way communications, a service that was originally available through only one service provider.