Background and History
Mobile phones technology is founded on the radio technology developed in the 1940, which formed the foundation for the innovations in police vehicles and cabs, where two way radios allowed two way communications. The earliest mobile phone emerge in 1946, despite the fact that it was both bulky, consumed a lot of power and relied on poor battery technologies. It heralded the introduction of the first ever Mobile Telephone Service in the same year to facilitate automatic call switching, Khosrowpour (2006). Automatic meant that human operators were eliminated. The devices developed by Motorola found immediate use in the military as well as among the richest citizens and businessmen. Better cell phone services were introduced in 1964, and technological developments saw the development of the first portable mobile phone in 1981. Motorola developed the first ever, modern mobile phone in 1983, which was however heavy and relied on poor battery technologies, Hussain & Hussain (2007).
2G and 3G Mobile Phones
The introduction of Motorola’s Motorola Dynastic 8000X (first ever modern cell phone model) marked the start of the 1st Generation cell phones, which led into even faster advancements in technology, Partridge (2011). The emergence of GSM Digital Networks refers to SIM card operated phones that were run by digital networks, boosted the popularity of cell phones across the world, after the services were rolled out across the world. Other technologies such as the microchips, integrated circuits and better performing cellular networks resulted into the replacement of the 1st Generation mobile phones, with 2nd Generation phones, that had better battery technologies and weighed less. Analog transmission systems were fast replaced with digital transmission systems, which yielded increased efficiency and speeds of the new generation mobile phones. By the close of 1999, it became possible to download media content (ringtones) from mobile phones, which was quickly followed by an even more revolutionary innovation, internet accessibility. This marked the emergence of data packet switching and with it, third Generation phones. Data Packet switching refers to electronic splitting up of data into bundles that can be sent and received as a single unit.
Mobile computing, which arose from Personal Communication Services, refers to the creation of data collection, storage and processing and information management platforms that are free from all phones of temporal or spatial constraints. The removal of these constraints facilitates the ability of users of cell phones and other computing and communication devices to upload, download; access and process information onto the systems, from anywhere. The geographic location; mobile or static state of the users are no longer consequential to mobile phone communication, Hussain & Hussain (2007). This revolution has its foundations in personal mobility services and wireless accessibility technologies offered through small terminals (cell phones). These technologies were in turn enabled through the emergence of more efficient data access (connection establishment time), the development of wireless and data access technologies such as CDMA2000 1X, GPRS & EDGE, coupled with the emergence of QoS flags. CDMA2000 1X, GPRS & EDGE and QoS flags are low speed technologies that allowed data to be sent and received between mobile networks using satellites. These have made it possible to network mobile phones and other mobile communication devices, giving them enormous computing power.
Importance of Mobile Computing
The emergence of mobile computing, which has been made possible by a convergence of a range of mobile phone technologies, has effectively resulted into complete computing power. Mobile phone users can access databases, manipulate data and get information through their mobile phones, without the need of heavy equipment, PCs or even laptops, Partridge (2011). Mobile phones now have enough power to rival conventional computers; complete with multiple data communication protocols. These include wireless, Bluetooth and infrared among many others. In addition, better memory technologies, coupled with the emergence of cloud computing have allowed virtually unlimited data and information storage , which in turn facilitates enormous capacity of mobile phones and other mobile communication devices to have enormous data processing power. Further, and perhaps even more significantly, is the fact that the efficiencies brought about by mobile computing results into large cost savings for organizations and individual citizens, Lee (2005).
The effects of the emergence of mobile phones and the technologies associated with it have been quite simply, revolutionary. In the developing countries, mobile phones are increasingly being in transferring money and as a critical payment system that has facilitated e-commerce transactions. This is not least because credit card and banking facilities are poorly developed, Klemens (2006). Other, more direct business applications include the dispatch and tracking systems for of luggage, vehicles and even animals. In addition, mobile phone technologies and particularly mobile computing has been significantly used in the processing of varied online transactions, enabling travelling professionals to work from their remote locations through applications such as Google Office and Portable Document Applications such as PDF readers etc. It is as well possible for professional teams to work through video conferences and other facilities.
With increasingly innovation, mobile phone processing and data storage power will rival many modern, conventional computers, resulting into massive gains from the efficiencies that would result from it, Lee (2005). In addition, the growing cost efficiencies and globalization, have and will render more and more business reliant on mobile computing. This is even more so, with the emergence of fourth generation mobile phones, coupled with the emergence of cloud computing, which will give more power to these devices. It is however critical to understand, that these benefits come with equally hurtful effects to the integrity of information, personal data security and the security of online transactions among other.
Hussain, K. M., & Hussain, D. (2007). Telecommunications & Networks. London: Focal Press.
Khosrowpour, M. (2006). Cases on Telecommunications and Networking. New York: Idea Inc.
Klemens, G. (2006). The cellphone: the history and technology of the gadget that changed the world. London: McFarland.
Lee, W. C. (2005). Wireless and cellular telecommunications. Boston: McGraw-Hill Prof Med/Tech.
Partridge, C. (2011). Realizing the Future of Wireless Data Communications. Communications of the ACM , 62-69.