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Chapter 1. Introduction to Wireless Comm... > Evolution of Mobile Radio Communicat...

1.1. Evolution of Mobile Radio Communications

A brief history of the evolution of mobile communications throughout the world is useful in order to appreciate the enormous impact that cellular radio and Personal Communication Services (PCS) will have on all of us over the next several decades. It is also useful for a newcomer to the cellular radio field to understand the tremendous impact that government regulatory agencies and service competitors wield in the evolution of new wireless systems, services, and technologies. While it is not the intent of this text to deal with the techno-political aspects of cellular radio and personal communications, techno-politics are a fundamental driver in the evolution of new technology and services, since radio spectrum usage is controlled by governments, not by service providers, equipment manufacturers, entrepreneurs, or researchers. Progressive involvement in technology development is vital for a government if it hopes to keep its own country competitive in the rapidly changing field of wireless personal communications.

Wireless communications is enjoying its fastest growth period in history, due to enabling technologies which permit widespread deployment. Historically, growth in the mobile communications field has come slowly, and has been coupled closely to technological improvements. The ability to provide wireless communications to an entire population was not even conceived until Bell Laboratories developed the cellular concept in the 1960s and 1970s [Nob62], [Mac79], [You79]. With the development of highly reliable, miniature, solid-state radio frequency hardware in the 1970s, the wireless communications era was born. The recent exponential growth in cellular radio and personal communication systems throughout the world is directly attributable to new technologies of the 1970s, which are mature today. The future growth of consumer-based mobile and portable communication systems will be tied more closely to radio spectrum allocations and regulatory decisions which affect or support new or extended services, as well as to consumer needs and technology advances in the signal processing, access, and network areas.


  

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