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 1940s USA: Bell Telephone Mobile Phone System
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 10:18:22 PM on 25 February 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5514

Short film made circa 1946 showing how the mobile phone system worked:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDy2tHCPdk8


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 5:06:25 PM on 24 March 2020.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 653

The boss's car doesn't have the necessary antenna (high band VHF?)


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 5:53:27 PM on 24 March 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5514

From one of the commenters:

QUOTE: There were two services, "Urban" and "Highway". Urban, as the name implies, was used within about 25 miles of a city center, and Highway was the rest of the country. Urban systems usually had at least four "voting" receivers that automatically put the best quality signal over the air. If the person doing the call was close enough to a receiver and the radio was working right, the voice quality was acceptable, although nothing like cell phones today. Urban systems used high band 152/158 MHz frequencies and only required and 18" antenna located on the vehicle body, preferably in the center of the roof. There were initially six channels available, increasing to 12 by 1951.


Joe and his truck would have been on the Highway network. His radio had to be able to reach a receiver that could be located up to 100 miles away, about the extent of the range on a good day. Those radios were on low band 35/43 MHz frequencies.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 3:59:24 PM on 25 March 2020.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 653

I noticed this. https://ethw.org/The_Foundations_of_Mobile_and_Cellular_Telephony

where they say it was improved with more channels & direct dialing in 1965, calls were $4 each (inflation adjusted)


 
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