Historical Timeline of Cellular Telecommunications

CTIA-The Wireless Association┬« – History of Wireless Communications

1977 –Experimental cellular systems launched in Chicago and the Washington, D.C./Baltimore region.
1983 –On October 13, the first commercial cellular system begins operating in Chicago. Motorola introduces the DynaTAC mobile telephone unit, the first truly “mobile” radiotelephone.
1984 –The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association is founded.
1985 –There are 340,213 cell phone subscribers.
1990 –Cellular subscribership surpasses 5 million.
1992 –The number of cellular users passes the 10 million milestone; World’s first commercial text message is sent by employees of Logica CMG.
1993 –The first smart phone (IBM’s Simon) is released to the public.
1995 –There are more than 33.8 million wireless subscribers, representing approximately 13% of the total U.S. population
1997 –The wireless industry unveils its “Safety – Your Most Important Call” to help educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
2000 –Wireless subscribership in America exceeds 100 million, totaling approximately 38% of the U.S. population. Digital wireless users outnumber analog subscribers.
2001 –The average wireless consumer uses his or her phone for 320 minutes per month.
2002 –Camera phones are first introduced in the U.S. market.
2004 –The average wireless consumer uses his or her phone for 584 minutes per month and paid an average local monthly bill of $50.64.
2005 –Subscribership reaches nearly 208 million, which is approximately 69% of the total U.S. population Subscribers use more than 1.5 trillion voice minutes and send and receive more than 81 billion SMS messages.
2007 –iPhone launches, spurring dramatic handset innovation.
2008 –There are more than 270 million wireless subscribers who use more than 2.2 trillion minutes. More than 1 trillion SMS messages are sent and received in the U.S. The average wireless consumer uses his or her phone for 708 minutes per month
2009 –There are more than 285.6 million U.S. wireless subscriber connections which is approximately 91% of the total U.S. population Wireless subscribers use more than 6.2 billion minutes per day and send and receive more than 5 billion SMS messages per day.
2010 –FCC proposes National Broadband Plan, recommending 500MHz of spectrum be allocated for commercial use by 2020. In June, President Barack Obama signs a memorandum committing to freeing up 500 MHz of spectrum for the wireless industry.
2011 – U.S. President Barack Obama announces his National Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative that would expand wireless coverage in the U.S. There were 315.9 million wireless subscribers who used more than 2.295 trillion minutes. There are more than 2.303 trillion SMS messages sent and received and more than 867 MB of data traffic carried.
2012 – CTIA and The Wireless Foundation launch “Growing Wireless” to provide parents with tools and information to educate themselves so they may teach their kids how to use wireless technology responsibly.
2013 – President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum on Expanding America’s Leadership in Wireless Innovation to expand America’s leadership in wireless broadband technologies, bringing the importance of available spectrum to the forefront of economic development.
2014 – The “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” was released by CTIA and participating wireless companies to help prevent smartphone thefts in the U.S.

Source:CTIA-The Wireless Association®, Used With Permission. Last Updated: January 2013