Mobile phone

A mobile phone, cell phone, cellphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive calls over a radio frequency link while the user is moving within a telephone service area. The radio frequency link establishes a connection to the switching systems of a mobile phone operator, which provides access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Modern mobile telephone services use a cellular network architecture, and, therefore, mobile telephones are called cellular telephones or cell phones, in North America. In addition to telephony, 2000s-era mobile phones support a variety of other services, such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, video games, and digital photography. Mobile phones offering only those capabilities are known as feature phones; mobile phones which offer greatly advanced computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones.

The first handheld mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell[1][2] and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing c. 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs).[3] In 1979, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) launched the world's first cellular network in Japan.[4] In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone. From 1983 to 2014, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew to over seven billion—enough to provide one for every person on Earth.[5] In first quarter of 2016, the top smartphone developers worldwide were Samsung, Apple, and Huawei, and smartphone sales represented 78 percent of total mobile phone sales.[6] For feature phones (or "dumbphones") as of 2016, the largest were Samsung, Nokia, and Alcatel.[7]

Mobile phone evolution
Evolution of mobile phones, to an early smartphone

History

2007Computex e21Forum-MartinCooper
Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first publicized handheld mobile phone call on a prototype DynaTAC model on 3 April 1973. This is a reenactment in 2007.

A handheld mobile radio telephone service was envisioned in the early stages of radio engineering. In 1917, Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt filed a patent for a "pocket-size folding telephone with a very thin carbon microphone". Early predecessors of cellular phones included analog radio communications from ships and trains. The race to create truly portable telephone devices began after World War II, with developments taking place in many countries. The advances in mobile telephony have been traced in successive "generations", starting with the early zeroth-generation (0G) services, such as Bell System's Mobile Telephone Service and its successor, the Improved Mobile Telephone Service. These 0G systems were not cellular, supported few simultaneous calls, and were very expensive.

DynaTAC8000X
The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. First commercially available handheld cellular mobile phone, 1984.

The first handheld cellular mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell[1][2] and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing 2 kilograms (4.4 lb).[3] The first commercial automated cellular network (1G) analog was launched in Japan by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in 1979. This was followed in 1981 by the simultaneous launch of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.[8] Several other countries then followed in the early to mid-1980s. These first-generation (1G) systems could support far more simultaneous calls but still used analog cellular technology. In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone.

In 1991, the second-generation (2G) digital cellular technology was launched in Finland by Radiolinja on the GSM standard. This sparked competition in the sector as the new operators challenged the incumbent 1G network operators.

Ten years later, in 2001, the third generation (3G) was launched in Japan by NTT DoCoMo on the WCDMA standard.[9] This was followed by 3.5G, 3G+ or turbo 3G enhancements based on the high-speed packet access (HSPA) family, allowing UMTS networks to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity.

By 2009, it had become clear that, at some point, 3G networks would be overwhelmed by the growth of bandwidth-intensive applications, such as streaming media.[10] Consequently, the industry began looking to data-optimized fourth-generation technologies, with the promise of speed improvements up to ten-fold over existing 3G technologies. The first two commercially available technologies billed as 4G were the WiMAX standard, offered in North America by Sprint, and the LTE standard, first offered in Scandinavia by TeliaSonera.

5G is a technology and term used in research papers and projects to denote the next major phase in mobile telecommunication standards beyond the 4G/IMT-Advanced standards. The term 5G is not officially used in any specification or official document yet made public by telecommunication companies or standardization bodies such as 3GPP, WiMAX Forum or ITU-R. New standards beyond 4G are currently being developed by standardization bodies, but they are at this time seen as under the 4G umbrella, not for a new mobile generation.

Types

Smartphone

Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2007-2014
Active mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.[11]

Smartphones have a number of distinguishing features. The International Telecommunication Union measures those with Internet connection, which it calls Active Mobile-Broadband subscriptions (which includes tablets, etc.). In the developed world, smartphones have now overtaken the usage of earlier mobile systems. However, in the developing world, they account for around 50% of mobile telephony.

Feature phone

Feature phone is a term typically used as a retronym to describe mobile phones which are limited in capabilities in contrast to a modern smartphone. Feature phones typically provide voice calling and text messaging functionality, in addition to basic multimedia and Internet capabilities, and other services offered by the user's wireless service provider. A feature phone has additional functions over and above a basic mobile phone which is only capable of voice calling and text messaging.[12][13] Feature phones and basic mobile phones tend to use a proprietary, custom-designed software and user interface. By contrast, smartphones generally use a mobile operating system that often shares common traits across devices.

Kosher phone

There are Orthodox Jewish religious restrictions which, by some interpretations, standard mobile telephones overstep. To deal with this problem, some rabbinical organizations have recommended that phones with text-messaging capability not be used by children.[14] Phones with restricted features are known as kosher phones and have rabbinical approval for use in Israel and elsewhere by observant Orthodox Jews. Although these phones are intended to prevent immodesty, some vendors report good sales to adults who prefer the simplicity of the devices. Some phones are approved for use by essential workers (such as health, security, and public service workers) on the sabbath, even though the use of any electrical device is generally prohibited during this time.[15]

Infrastructure

Mobile phones communicate with cell towers that are placed to give coverage across a telephone service area which is divided up into 'cells'. Each cell uses a different set of frequencies from neighbouring cells, and will typically be covered by 3 towers placed at different locations. The cell towers are usually interconnected to each other and the phone network and the internet by wired connections. Due to bandwidth limitations each cell will have a maximum number of cell phones it can handle at once. The cells are therefore sized depending on the expected usage density, and may be much smaller in cities. In that case much lower transmitter powers are used to avoid broadcasting beyond the cell.

As a phone moves around, a phone will "hand off"- automatically disconnect and reconnect to the tower that gives the best reception.

Additionally, short-range Wi-Fi infrastructure is often used by smartphones as much as possible as it offloads traffic from cell networks on to local area networks.

Hardware

The common components found on all phones are:

  • A CPU, the processor of phones.
  • A battery, providing the power source for the phone functions.
  • An input mechanism to allow the user to interact with the phone. These are a keypad for feature phones and touch screens for most smartphones.
  • A display which echoes the user's typing, and displays text messages, contacts, and more.
  • Speakers for sound.
  • SIM cards and R-UIM cards.

Low-end mobile phones are often referred to as feature phones and offer basic telephony. Handsets with more advanced computing ability through the use of native software applications are known as smartphones.

Central processing unit

Mobile phones have central processing units (CPUs), similar to those in computers, but optimised to operate in low power environments.

Mobile CPU performance depends not only on the clock rate (generally given in multiples of hertz)[16] but also the memory hierarchy also greatly affects overall performance. Because of these problems, the performance of mobile phone CPUs is often more appropriately given by scores derived from various standardized tests to measure the real effective performance in commonly used applications.

Display

One of the main characteristics of phones is the screen. Depending on the device's type and design, the screen fills most or nearly all of the space on a device's front surface. Many smartphone displays have an aspect ratio of 16:9, but taller aspect ratios became more common in 2017.

Screen sizes are measured in diagonal inches; feature phones generally have screen sizes below 3.5 inches. Phones with screens larger than 5.2 inches are often called "phablets." Smartphones with screens over 4.5 inches in size are commonly difficult to use with only a single hand, since most thumbs cannot reach the entire screen surface; they may need to be shifted around in the hand, held in one hand and manipulated by the other, or used in place with both hands. Due to design advances, some modern smartphones with large screen sizes and "edge-to-edge" designs have compact builds that improve their ergonomics, while the shift to taller aspect ratios have resulted in phones that have larger screen sizes whilst maintaining the ergonomics associated with smaller 16:9 displays.[17][18][19]

Liquid-crystal displays are the most common; others are IPS, LED, OLED, and AMOLED displays. Some displays are integrated with pressure-sensitive digitizers, such as those developed by Wacom and Samsung,[20] and Apple's "3D Touch" system.

Sound

In sound, smartphones and feature phones vary little. Some audio-quality enhancing features, such as Voice over LTE and HD Voice, have appeared and are often available on newer smartphones. Sound quality can remain a problem due to the design of the phone, the quality of the cellular network and compression algorithms used in long distance calls.[21][22] Audio quality can be improved using a VoIP application over WiFi.[23] Cellphones have small speakers so that the user can use a speakerphone feature and talk to a person on the phone without holding it to their ear. The small speakers can also be used to listen to digital audio files of music or speech or watch videos with an audio component, without holding the phone close to the ear.

Battery

The average phone battery lasts 2–3 years at best. Many of the wireless devices use a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery, which charges 500-2500 times, depending on how users take care of the battery and the charging techniques used.[24] It is only natural for these rechargeable batteries to chemically age, which is why the performance of the battery when used for a year or two will begin to deteriorate. Battery life can be extended by draining it regularly, not overcharging it, and keeping it away from heat.[25][26]

SIM card

Typical cellphone SIM cards
Typical mobile phone mini-SIM card.

Mobile phones require a small microchip called a Subscriber Identity Module or SIM card, in order 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) and the Ki used to identify and authenticate the user of the mobile phone. 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, provided that this is not prevented by a SIM lock. The first SIM card was made in 1991 by Munich smart card maker Giesecke & Devrient for the Finnish wireless network operator Radiolinja.

A hybrid mobile phone can hold up to four SIM cards, with a phone having an IMEI per SIM Card. SIM and R-UIM cards may be mixed together to allow both GSM and CDMA networks to be accessed. From 2010 onwards, such phones became popular in emerging markets,[27] and this was attributed to the desire to obtain the lowest on-net calling rate.

Software

Software platforms

Feature phones have basic software platforms.

Smartphones have advanced software platforms.

Mobile app

A mobile app is a computer program designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone. The term "app" is a shortening of the term "software application".

Messaging
IPhone Text Message Amber Alert 1882467856 o
A text message (SMS).

A common data application on mobile phones is Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging. The first SMS message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone in 1992 in the UK while the first person-to-person SMS from phone to phone was sent in Finland in 1993. The first mobile news service, delivered via SMS, was launched in Finland in 2000, and subsequently many organizations provided "on-demand" and "instant" news services by SMS. Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) was introduced in 2001.

Application stores

The introduction of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch in July 2008 popularized manufacturer-hosted online distribution for third-party applications (software and computer programs) focused on a single platform. There are a huge variety of apps, including video games, music products and business tools. Up until that point, smartphone application distribution depended on third-party sources providing applications for multiple platforms, such as GetJar, Handango, Handmark, and PocketGear. Following the success of the App Store, other smartphone manufacturers launched application stores, such as Google's Android Market (later renamed to the Google Play Store) and RIM's BlackBerry App World and Android-related app stores like F-Droid. In February 2014, 93% of mobile developers were targeting smartphones first for mobile app development.[28]

Sales

By manufacturer

Market share of top-five worldwide mobile phone vendors, Q2 2016
Rank Manufacturer Strategy
Analytics
report[29]
1 Samsung 22.3%
2 Apple 12.9%
3 Huawei 8.9%
4 Oppo 5.4%
5 Xiaomi 4.5%
Others 46.0%
Note: Vendor shipments are
branded shipments and exclude
OEM sales for all vendors

From 1983 to 1998, Motorola was market leader in mobile phones. Nokia was the market leader in mobile phones from 1998 to 2012.[30] In Q1 2012, Samsung surpassed Nokia, selling 93.5 million units as against Nokia's 82.7 million units. Samsung has retained its top position since then. In 2017, the top five manufacturers worldwide were Samsung (20.9%), Apple (14.0%), Huawei (9.8%), Oppo (5.7%), and Vivo (6.5%).[31] During Q2 2018, Huawei overtook Apple as the world's second-largest phone manufacturer.[32]

By mobile phone operator

Mobile phone map 1980-2009
Growth in mobile phone subscribers per country from 1980 to 2009.

The world's largest individual mobile operator by number of subscribers is China Mobile, which has over 902 million mobile phone subscribers as of June 2018.[33] Over 50 mobile operators have over ten million subscribers each, and over 150 mobile operators had at least one million subscribers by the end of 2009.[34] In 2014, there were more than seven billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide, a number that is expected to keep growing.

Use

General

Mobile phone subscribers 1997-2014 ITU
Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants. 2014 figure is estimated.

Mobile phones are used for a variety of purposes, such as keeping in touch with family members, for conducting business, and in order to have access to a telephone in the event of an emergency. Some people carry more than one mobile phone for different purposes, such as for business and personal use. Multiple SIM cards may be used to take advantage of the benefits of different calling plans. For example, a particular plan might provide for cheaper local calls, long-distance calls, international calls, or roaming.

The mobile phone has been used in a variety of diverse contexts in society. For example:

  • A study by Motorola found that one in ten mobile phone subscribers have a second phone that is often kept secret from other family members. These phones may be used to engage in such activities as extramarital affairs or clandestine business dealings.[35]
  • Some organizations assist victims of domestic violence by providing mobile phones for use in emergencies. These are often refurbished phones.[36]
  • 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.[37]
  • Mobile telephony also facilitates activism and public journalism being explored by Reuters and Yahoo![38] and small independent news companies such as Jasmine News in Sri Lanka.
  • The United Nations reported that mobile phones have spread faster than any other form of technology and can improve the livelihood of the poorest people in developing countries, by providing access to information in places where landlines or the Internet are not available, especially in the least developed countries. Use of mobile phones also spawns a wealth of micro-enterprises, by providing such work as selling airtime on the streets and repairing or refurbishing handsets.[39]
  • In Mali and other African countries, people used to travel from village to village to let friends and relatives know about weddings, births, and other events. This can now be avoided in areas with mobile phone coverage, which are usually more extensive than areas with just land-line penetration.
  • The TV industry has recently started using mobile phones to drive live TV viewing through mobile apps, advertising, social TV, and mobile TV.[40] It is estimated that 86% of Americans use their mobile phone while watching TV.
  • In some parts of the world, mobile phone sharing is common. Cell phone sharing is prevalent in urban India, as families and groups of friends often share one or more mobile phones among their members. There are obvious economic benefits, but often familial customs and traditional gender roles play a part.[41] It is common for a village to have access to only one mobile phone, perhaps owned by a teacher or missionary, which is available to all members of the village for necessary calls.[42]

Content distribution

In 1998, one of the first examples of distributing and selling media content through the mobile phone was the sale of ringtones by Radiolinja in Finland. Soon afterwards, other media content appeared, such as news, video games, jokes, horoscopes, TV content and advertising. Most early content for mobile phones tended to be copies of legacy media, such as banner advertisements or TV news highlight video clips. Recently, unique content for mobile phones has been emerging, from ringtones and ringback tones to mobisodes, video content that has been produced exclusively for mobile phones.

Mobile banking and payment

Mobile payment 01
Mobile payment system.

In many countries, mobile phones are used to provide mobile banking services, which may include the ability to transfer cash payments by secure SMS text message. Kenya's M-PESA mobile banking service, for example, allows customers of the mobile phone operator Safaricom to hold cash balances which are recorded on their SIM cards. Cash can be deposited or withdrawn from M-PESA accounts at Safaricom retail outlets located throughout the country and can be transferred electronically from person to person and used to pay bills to companies.

Branchless banking has also been successful in South Africa and the Philippines. A pilot project in Bali was launched in 2011 by the International Finance Corporation and an Indonesian bank, Bank Mandiri.[43]

Another application of mobile banking technology is Zidisha, a US-based nonprofit micro-lending platform that allows residents of developing countries to raise small business loans from Web users worldwide. Zidisha uses mobile banking for loan disbursements and repayments, transferring funds from lenders in the United States to borrowers in rural Africa who have mobile phones and can use the Internet.[44]

Mobile payments were first trialled in Finland in 1998 when two Coca-Cola vending machines in Espoo were enabled to work with SMS payments. Eventually, the idea spread and in 1999, the Philippines launched the country's first commercial mobile payments systems with mobile operators Globe and Smart.

Some mobile phones can make mobile payments via direct mobile billing schemes, or through contactless payments if the phone and the point of sale support near field communication (NFC).[45] Enabling contactless payments through NFC-equipped mobile phones requires the co-operation of manufacturers, network operators, and retail merchants.[46][47][48]

Mobile tracking

Mobile phones are commonly used to collect location data. While the phone is turned on, the geographical location of a mobile phone can be determined easily (whether it is being used or not) using a technique known as multilateration to calculate the differences in time for a signal to travel from the mobile phone to each of several cell towers near the owner of the phone.[49][50]

The movements of a mobile phone user can be tracked by their service provider and if desired, by law enforcement agencies and their governments. Both the SIM card and the handset can be tracked.[49]

China has proposed using this technology to track the commuting patterns of Beijing city residents.[51] In the UK and US, law enforcement and intelligence services use mobile phones to perform surveillance operations. They possess technology that enables them to activate the microphones in mobile phones remotely in order to listen to conversations which take place near the phone.[52][53]

Hackers are able to track a phone's location, read messages, and record calls, just by knowing the phone number.[54]

While driving

Hand held phone in car
A driver using two hand-held mobile phones at once.
NocellphonesSouthsidePlaceTX
A sign in the U.S. restricting cell phone use to certain times of day

Mobile phone use while driving, including talking on the phone, texting, or operating other phone features, is common but controversial. It is widely considered dangerous due to distracted driving. Being distracted while operating a motor vehicle has been shown to increase the risk of accidents. In September 2010, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 995 people were killed by drivers distracted by cell phones. In March 2011, a U.S. insurance company, State Farm Insurance, announced the results of a study which showed 19% of drivers surveyed accessed the Internet on a smartphone while driving.[55] Many jurisdictions prohibit the use of mobile phones while driving. In Egypt, Israel, Japan, Portugal, and Singapore, both handheld and hands-free use of a mobile phone (which uses a speakerphone) is banned. In other countries, including the UK and France and in many U.S. states, only handheld phone use is banned while hands-free use is permitted.

A 2011 study reported that over 90% of college students surveyed text (initiate, reply or read) while driving.[56] The scientific literature on the dangers of driving while sending a text message from a mobile phone, or texting while driving, is limited. A simulation study at the University of Utah found a sixfold increase in distraction-related accidents when texting.[57]

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 when attempting to distinguish one usage from another in drivers using their devices. This is more apparent in countries which ban both handheld and hands-free usage, rather than those which ban handheld use only, as officials cannot easily tell which function of the mobile phone is being used simply by looking at the driver. This can lead to drivers being stopped for using their device illegally for a phone call when, in fact, they were using the device legally, for example, when using the phone's incorporated controls for car stereo, GPS or satnav.

A 2010 study reviewed the incidence of mobile phone use while cycling and its effects on behaviour and safety.[58] In 2013, a national survey in the US reported the number of drivers who reported using their cellphones to access the Internet while driving had risen to nearly one of four.[59] A study conducted by the University of Vienna examined approaches for reducing inappropriate and problematic use of mobile phones, such as using mobile phones while driving.[60]

Accidents involving a driver being distracted by talking on a mobile phone have begun to be prosecuted as negligence similar to speeding. In the United Kingdom, from 27 February 2007, motorists who are caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving will have three penalty points added to their license in addition to the fine of £60.[61] This increase was introduced to try to stem the increase in drivers ignoring the law.[62] Japan prohibits all mobile phone use while driving, including use of hands-free devices. New Zealand has banned hand-held cell phone use since 1 November 2009. Many states in the United States have banned texting on cell phones while driving. Illinois became the 17th American state to enforce this law.[63] As of July 2010, 30 states had banned texting while driving, with Kentucky becoming the most recent addition on 15 July.[64]

Public Health Law Research maintains a list of distracted driving laws in the United States. This database of laws provides a comprehensive view of the provisions of laws that restrict the use of mobile communication devices while driving for all 50 states and the District of Columbia between 1992 when first law was passed, through 1 December 2010. The dataset contains information on 22 dichotomous, continuous or categorical variables including, for example, activities regulated (e.g., texting versus talking, hands-free versus handheld), targeted populations, and exemptions.[65]

In 2010, an estimated 1500 pedestrians were injured in the US while using a cellphone and some jurisdictions have attempted to ban pedestrians from using their cellphones.[66][67]

Health effects

The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health is the subject of recent interest and study, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world. Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, which some believe may be harmful to human health. A large body of research exists, both epidemiological and experimental, in non-human animals and in humans. The majority of this research shows no definite causative relationship between exposure to mobile phones and harmful biological effects in humans. This is often paraphrased simply as the balance of evidence showing no harm to humans from mobile phones, although a significant number of individual studies do suggest such a relationship, or are inconclusive. Other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks, produce similar radiation.

On 31 May 2011, the World Health Organization stated that mobile phone use may possibly represent a long-term health risk,[68][69] classifying mobile phone radiation as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" after a team of scientists reviewed studies on mobile phone safety.[70] The mobile phone is in category 2B, which ranks it alongside coffee and other possibly carcinogenic substances.[71][72]

Some recent studies have found an association between mobile phone use and certain kinds of brain and salivary gland tumors. Lennart Hardell and other authors of a 2009 meta-analysis of 11 studies from peer-reviewed journals concluded that cell phone usage for at least ten years "approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same ('ipsilateral') side of the head as that preferred for cell phone use".[73]

One study of past mobile phone use cited in the report showed a "40% increased risk for gliomas (brain cancer) in the highest category of heavy users (reported average: 30 minutes per day over a 10‐year period)".[74] This is a reversal of the study's prior position that cancer was unlikely to be caused by cellular phones or their base stations and that reviews had found no convincing evidence for other health effects.[69][75] However, a study published 24 March 2012, in the British Medical Journal questioned these estimates because the increase in brain cancers has not paralleled the increase in mobile phone use.[76] Certain countries, including France, have warned against the use of mobile phones by minors in particular, due to health risk uncertainties.[77] Mobile pollution by transmitting electromagnetic waves can be decreased up to 90% by adopting the circuit as designed in mobile phone and mobile exchange.[78]

In May 2016, preliminary findings of a long-term study by the U.S. government suggested that radio-frequency (RF) radiation, the type emitted by cell phones, can cause cancer.[79][80]

Educational impact

A study by the London School of Economics found that banning mobile phones in schools could increase pupils' academic performance, providing benefits equal to one extra week of schooling per year.[81]

Electronic waste regulation

Handy schrott mobile phone scrap
Scrapped mobile phones.

Studies have shown that around 40–50% of the environmental impact of mobile phones occurs during the manufacture of their printed wiring boards and integrated circuits.[82]

The average user replaces their mobile phone every 11 to 18 months,[83] and the discarded phones then contribute to electronic waste. Mobile phone manufacturers within Europe are subject to the WEEE directive, and Australia has introduced a mobile phone recycling scheme.[84]

Apple Inc. had an advanced robotic disassembler and sorter called Liam specifically for recycling outdated or broken iPhones.[350]

Theft

According to the Federal Communications Commission, one out of three robberies involve the theft of a cellular phone. Police data in San Francisco show that half of all robberies in 2012 were thefts of cellular phones. An online petition on Change.org, called Secure our Smartphones, urged smartphone manufacturers to install kill switches in their devices to make them unusable if stolen. The petition is part of a joint effort by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and was directed to the CEOs of the major smartphone manufacturers and telecommunication carriers.[85] On 10 June 2013, Apple announced that it would install a "kill switch" on its next iPhone operating system, due to debut in October 2013.[86]

All mobile phones have a unique identifier called IMEI. Anyone can report their phone as lost or stolen with their Telecom Carrier, and the IMEI would be blacklisted with a central registry.[87] Telecom carriers, depending upon local regulation can or must implement blocking of blacklisted phones in their network. There are, however, a number of ways to circumvent a blacklist. One method is to send the phone to a country where the telecom carriers are not required to implement the blacklisting and sell it there,[88] another involves altering the phone's IMEI number.[89] Even so, mobile phones typically have less value on the second-hand market if the phones original IMEI is blacklisted.

An unusual example of a phone bill caused by theft (reported on 28 June 2018) was when a biological group in Poland put a GPS tracker on a white stork and released it; during autumn migration over the Blue Nile valley in eastern Sudan someone got hold of the stork's GPS tracker, and found in it a mobile-phone-type sim card, which he put in his mobile phone, and made 20 hours of calls on it, running up a bill of over 10,000 Polish zlotys (= $2700) for the biological group.[90]

Conflict minerals

Demand for metals used in mobile phones and other electronics fuelled the Second Congo War, which claimed almost 5.5 million lives.[91] In a 2012 news story, The Guardian reported: "In unsafe mines deep underground in eastern Congo, children are working to extract minerals essential for the electronics industry. The profits from the minerals finance the bloodiest conflict since the second world war; the war has lasted nearly 20 years and has recently flared up again. ... For the last 15 years, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been a major source of natural resources for the mobile phone industry."[92] The company Fairphone has worked to develop a mobile phone that does not contain conflict minerals.

See also

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Further reading

  • Agar, Jon, Constant Touch: A Global History of the Mobile Phone, 2004 ISBN 1-84046-541-7
  • Ahonen, Tomi, m-Profits: Making Money with 3G Services, 2002, ISBN 0-470-84775-1
  • Ahonen, Kasper and Melkko, 3G Marketing 2004, ISBN 0-470-85100-7
  • Fessenden, R. A. (1908). "Wireless Telephony". Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution: 161–196. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  • Glotz, Peter & Bertsch, Stefan, eds. Thumb Culture: The Meaning of Mobile Phones for Society, 2005
  • Goggin, Gerard, Global Mobile Media (New York: Routledge, 2011), p. 176. ISBN 978-0-415-46918-0
  • Jain, S. Lochlann. "Urban Errands: The Means of Mobility". Journal of Consumer Culture 2:3 (November 2002) 385–404. doi:10.1177/146954050200200305.
  • Katz, James E. & Aakhus, Mark, eds. Perpetual Contact: Mobile Communication, Private Talk, Public Performance, 2002
  • Kavoori, Anandam & Arceneaux, Noah, eds. The Cell Phone Reader: Essays in Social Transformation, 2006
  • Kennedy, Pagan. Who Made That Cellphone?, The New York Times, 15 March 2013, p. MM19
  • Kopomaa, Timo. The City in Your Pocket, Gaudeamus 2000
  • Levinson, Paul, Cellphone: The Story of the World's Most Mobile Medium, and How It Has Transformed Everything!, 2004 ISBN 1-4039-6041-0
  • Ling, Rich, The Mobile Connection: the Cell Phone's Impact on Society, 2004 ISBN 1-55860-936-9
  • Ling, Rich and Pedersen, Per, eds. Mobile Communications: Re-negotiation of the Social Sphere, 2005 ISBN 1-85233-931-4
  • Home page of Rich Ling
  • Nyíri, Kristóf, ed. Mobile Communication: Essays on Cognition and Community, 2003
  • Nyíri, Kristóf, ed. Mobile Learning: Essays on Philosophy, Psychology and Education, 2003
  • Nyíri, Kristóf, ed. Mobile Democracy: Essays on Society, Self and Politics, 2003
  • Nyíri, Kristóf, ed. A Sense of Place: The Global and the Local in Mobile Communication, 2005
  • Nyíri, Kristóf, ed. Mobile Understanding: The Epistemology of Ubiquitous Communication, 2006
  • Plant, Dr. Sadie, on the mobile – the effects of mobile telephones on social and individual life, 2001
  • Rheingold, Howard, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, 2002 ISBN 0-7382-0861-2
  • Singh, Rohit (April 2009). Mobile phones for development and profit: a win-win scenario (PDF). Overseas Development Institute. p. 2.

External links

Cellular network

A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network where the last link is wireless. The network is distributed over land areas called cells, each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver, but more normally three cell sites or base transceiver stations. These base stations provide the cell with the network coverage which can be used for transmission of voice, data, and other types of content. A cell typically uses a different set of frequencies from neighboring cells, to avoid interference and provide guaranteed service quality within each cell.When joined together, these cells provide radio coverage over a wide geographic area. This enables a large number of portable transceivers (e.g., mobile phones, tablets and laptops equipped with mobile broadband modems, pagers, etc.) to communicate with each other and with fixed transceivers and telephones anywhere in the network, via base stations, even if some of the transceivers are moving through more than one cell during transmission.

Cellular networks offer a number of desirable features:

More capacity than a single large transmitter, since the same frequency can be used for multiple links as long as they are in different cells

Mobile devices use less power than with a single transmitter or satellite since the cell towers are closer

Larger coverage area than a single terrestrial transmitter, since additional cell towers can be added indefinitely and are not limited by the horizonMajor telecommunications providers have deployed voice and data cellular networks over most of the inhabited land area of Earth. This allows mobile phones and mobile computing devices to be connected to the public switched telephone network and public Internet. Private cellular networks can be used for research or for large organizations and fleets, such as dispatch for local public safety agencies or a taxicab company.

Comparison of mobile phone standards

This is a comparison of standards of mobile phones. A new generation of cellular standards has appeared approximately every tenth year since 1G systems were introduced in 1979 and the early to mid-1980s.

Form factor (mobile phones)

The form factor of a mobile phone is its size, shape, and style, as well as the layout and position of its major components.

History of mobile phones

The history of mobile phones covers mobile communication devices that connect wirelessly to the public switched telephone network.

While the transmission of speech by radio has a long history, the first devices that were wireless, mobile, and also capable of connecting to the standard telephone network are much more recent. The first such devices were barely portable compared to today's compact hand-held devices, and their use was clumsy.

Along with the process of developing a more portable technology, and a better interconnections system, drastic changes have taken place in both the networking of wireless communication and the prevalence of its use, with smartphones becoming common globally and a growing proportion of Internet access now done via mobile broadband.

History of prepaid mobile phones

The history of the prepaid mobile phone began in the 1990s when mobile phone operators sought to expand their market reach. Up until this point, mobile phone services were exclusively offered on a postpaid basis (contract-based), which excluded individuals with poor credit ratings and minors under the age of 18 (the typical age of contractual capacity).

Prepaid mobile phones are used around the world.

List of Bandai Namco video game franchises

Bandai Namco Holdings is a Japanese holdings company that specializes in video games, anime, toys, arcades and amusement parks, and is currently based in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. The company was formed following the merger of Bandai and Namco on September 29, 2005, with both companies' assets being merged into a single corporate entity. The video game branch of the company is Bandai Namco Entertainment, formerly called Namco Bandai Games, and continues to develop games for home consoles, arcades and mobile phones internationally. The company is best known for their video game franchises, with Pac-Man becoming their highest-grossing franchise with over US$12.8 billion as of 2016, as well as becoming the company's official mascot and flagship character, while Tekken is their best selling franchise, selling over 40 million copies across multiple platforms. As of 2017, the company is the third-largest video game company in Japan, the seventh-largest in the world, and the largest toy company by revenue.Bandai Namco owns former developer Banpresto, who operates as a toy company in Japan and was purchased in 2008, and acquired a 95% stake in D3 Publisher in 2009. Additionally, the company owns the video game rights to several anime licenses, including Dragon Ball, One Piece and Sailor Moon; in this instance, the first entry for these franchises will list the first game developed or published by Bandai Namco or a subsidiary company even if the series did not begin at that time period. Bandai Namco also owns the rights to the Baten Kaitos, Project X Zone and Xenosaga franchises, after developer Monolith Soft was sold to Nintendo in 2007. The company retains the rights to defunct developers BEC, who merged with Banpresto in 2011, and Sunrise Interactive, who closed in 2008.

List of mobile network operators

This is a list of mobile network and satellite phone network operators measured by number of subscriptions.

For a more comprehensive list of mobile phone operators, see Mobile country codes.

List of mobile phone makers by country

This is a list of mobile phone makers sorted by country.

List of telecom companies in India

The total number of telephone subscribers in India reached 1,197.87 million as on 31 December 2018. The number of wireless subscribers are 1,176.00 million and the number of wireline subscribers are 21.87 million.

Mobile app

A mobile app or mobile application is a computer program or software application designed to run on a mobile device such as a phone/tablet or watch. Apps were originally intended for productivity assistance such as Email, calendar, and contact databases, but the public demand for apps caused rapid expansion into other areas such as mobile games, factory automation, GPS and location-based services, order-tracking, and ticket purchases, so that there are now millions of apps available. Apps are generally downloaded from application distribution platforms which are operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store. Some apps are free, and others have a price, with the profit being split between the application's creator and the distribution platform.. Mobile applications often stand in contrast to desktop applications which are designed to run on desktop computers, and web applications which run in mobile web browsers rather than directly on the mobile device.

In 2009, technology columnist David Pogue said that newer smartphones could be nicknamed "app phones" to distinguish them from earlier less-sophisticated smartphones. The term "app", short for "software application", has since become very popular; in 2010, it was listed as "Word of the Year" by the American Dialect Society.

Mobile network operator

A mobile network operator or MNO, also known as a wireless service provider, wireless carrier, cellular company, or mobile network carrier, is a provider of wireless communications services that owns or controls all the elements necessary to sell and deliver services to an end user including radio spectrum allocation, wireless network infrastructure, back haul infrastructure, billing, customer care, provisioning computer systems and marketing and repair organizations.In addition to obtaining revenue by offering retail services under its own brand, an MNO may also sell access to network services at wholesale rates to mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).

A key defining characteristic of a mobile network operator is that an MNO must own or control access to a radio spectrum license from a regulatory or government entity

. A second key defining characteristic of an MNO is that an MNO must own or control the elements of the network infrastructure necessary to provide services to subscribers over the licensed spectrum.A mobile network operator typically also has the necessary provisioning, billing and customer care computer systems and the marketing, customer care and engineering organizations needed to sell, deliver and bill for services. However, an MNO can outsource any of these systems or functions and still be considered a mobile network ofperator.

Mobile phone radiation and health

The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health is a subject of interest and study worldwide, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world. As of 2015, there were 7.4 billion subscriptions worldwide, though the actual number of users is lower as many users own more than one mobile phone. Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range (450–3800 MHz and 24-80GHz in 5G mobile). Other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks, produce similar radiation.

The World Health Organization states that "A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use." In a 2018 statement, the FDA said that "the current safety limits are set to include a 50-fold safety margin from observed effects of radiofrequency energy exposure".

Mobile phone tracking

Mobile phone tracking is a process for identifying the location of a mobile phone, whether stationary or moving. Localization may occur either via multilateration of radio signals between (several) cell towers of the network and the phone, or simply via GPS. To locate a mobile phone using multilateration of radio signals, it must emit at least the roaming signal to contact the next nearby antenna tower, but the process does not require an active call. The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is based on the phone's signal strength to nearby antenna masts.Mobile positioning may include location-based services that disclose the actual coordinates of a mobile phone, which is a technology used by telecommunication companies to approximate the location of a mobile phone, and thereby also its user.

Mobile telephony

Mobile telephony is the provision of telephone services to phones which may move around freely rather than stay fixed in one location. Mobile phones connect to a terrestrial cellular network of base stations (cell sites), whereas satellite phones connect to orbiting satellites. Both networks are interconnected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to allow any phone in the world to be dialed.

In 2010 there were estimated to be five billion mobile cellular subscriptions in the world.

Nokia

Nokia Corporation (commonly referred to as Nokia; UK: , US: , Finnish: [ˈnokiɑ]) is a Finnish multinational telecommunications, information technology, and consumer electronics company, founded in 1865. Nokia's headquarters are in Espoo, in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area. In 2017, Nokia employed approximately 102,000 people across over 100 countries, did business in more than 130 countries, and reported annual revenues of around €23 billion. Nokia is a public limited company listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. It is the world's 415th-largest company measured by 2016 revenues according to the Fortune Global 500, having peaked at 85th place in 2009. It is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.The company has had various industries in over 150 years. It was founded as a pulp mill and had long been associated with rubber and cables, but since the 1990s focuses on large-scale telecommunications infrastructures, technology development, and licensing. Nokia is a notable major contributor to the mobile telephony industry, having assisted in the development of the GSM, 3G and LTE standards (and currently in 5G), and is best known for having been the largest worldwide vendor of mobile phones and smartphones for a period. After a partnership with Microsoft and market struggles, its mobile phone business was eventually bought by the former, creating Microsoft Mobile as its successor in 2014. After the sale, Nokia began to focus more extensively on its telecommunications infrastructure business and on the Internet of things, marked by the divestiture of its Here mapping division and the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, including its Bell Labs research organization. The company then also experimented with virtual reality and digital health, the latter through the purchase of Withings. The Nokia brand has since returned to the mobile and smartphone market through a licensing arrangement with HMD Global. Nokia continues to be a major patent licensor for most large mobile phone vendors. As of 2018 Nokia is the world's third largest network equipment manufacturer.The company was viewed with national pride by Finns, as its successful mobile phone business made it by far the largest worldwide company and brand from Finland. At its peak in 2000, during the telecoms bubble, Nokia alone accounted for 4% of the country's GDP, 21% of total exports, and 70% of the Helsinki Stock Exchange market capital.

Original equipment manufacturer

An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer. For example, Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturing company, which produces a variety of parts and equipment for companies such as Apple Inc., Dell, Google, Huawei, Nintendo, Xiaomi, etc., is the largest OEM company in the world by both scale and revenue.

The term is also used in several other ways, which causes ambiguity. It sometimes means the maker of a system that includes other companies' subsystems, an end-product producer, an automotive part that is manufactured by the same company that produced the original part used in the automobile's assembly, or a value-added reseller.

Telephone numbers in Malaysia

Telephone numbers in Malaysia are regulated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Landline telephone numbers consists of an area code of 1 to 2 digits (excluding the leading zero) followed by a 6 to 8-digit subscriber number. Mobile phone numbers consists of a mobile phone code of 2 digits followed by a 7 to 8-digit subscriber number. Mobile phone codes are originally assigned to specific mobile network operators, however with mobile number portability, a mobile phone number might no longer be associated with its original assigned operator.

Until 2017, calls to Singapore did not require international dialling; calls were made using the 02 domestic access code. However, following a directive from MCMC, it was discontinued in stages in May and June 2017. It was discontinued early on 16 May 2017 by Telekom Malaysia, and discontinued entirely by other Malaysian telecommunications companies on the 1st. of July 2017. The normal international prefix of 0065 has been made mandatory after that date. Similarly, calls to Brunei from East Malaysia can be made using the 080 domestic access code but calls from Peninsular Malaysia to Brunei require the international prefix 00673.

Xiaomi

Xiaomi Corporation (; Chinese: 小米 [ɕjǎu.mì] (listen)) is a Chinese electronics company headquartered in Beijing. Xiaomi makes and invests in smartphones, mobile apps, laptops, and related consumer electronics.Xiaomi released its first smartphone in August 2011 and rapidly gained market share in China to become the country's largest smartphone company in 2014. At the start of Q2 of 2018, Xiaomi was the world's fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer, leading in both the largest market, China, and the second-largest market, India. Xiaomi later developed a wider range of consumer electronics, including a smart home (IoT) device ecosystem.Xiaomi has 15,000 employees in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and is expanding to other countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Africa. According to Forbes magazine, Lei Jun, the founder and CEO, has an estimated net worth of US$12.5 billion. He is China's 11th richest person and 118th in the world. Xiaomi is the world's 4th most valuable technology start-up after receiving US$1.1 billion funding from investors, making Xiaomi's valuation more than US$46 billion.

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