Talking on your phone in a car has become one of the essential services of the 21st century that's possible only because of some massive engineering advances starting six decades ago. The first call from a moving car was placed in 1946, after a decade of research work, and by 1947 AT&T was offering the first mobile phone service -- used on this date that year to place a phone call between a car and a plane over Wilmington, Del. (There's no record of whether the call distracted either operator.) In that era, the service was in AT&T's words
a "massive party line" that could handle only three calls at a time in any city. Cost: About $170 a month, plus up to $4 per call, via an 80-pound piece of phone equipment. And you think your cell phone bill is rough.
- Technology & Electronics
- mobile phone