The mobile phone, 30 years ago: photos

The mobile phone, 30 years ago: photos

Summary: It's been 30 years since the first mobile phone call was made on Telstra's network, then called Telecom Australia, without the assistance of an operator. The phones were tied down to a car and cost a fortune to own, but they set the foundation for today's cellular network. Here's how they used to build them.

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  • (Credit: Telstra)

    The car phone system weighed 14kg, had a 45cm handset. The handset cost nearly $5000, or $17,000 in today's terms.

  • (Credit: Telstra)

    It cost an additional $350 to install and required a radio transmitter be attached to the boot of the car. It could store 16 numbers and alerted owners of a call by honking the car's horn or flashing its headlights.

    NEC gifted Telecom with a gold-plated mobile phone (pictured), which Telstra claims to be possibly one of the first "blinged out" phones in the world.

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Topics: Mobility, Telcos, Telstra, Tech Industry

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • Were they those "007" phones? Does anyone notice that the screen and buttons are on the back of the handset so that they don't gum up with normal facial grease?
    Treknology