Future Towers: Newly filed or pending applications to construct new towers. Application info includes location coordinates and detailed ownership data. Antennas: The actual emitters of radio signals. Antennas can be placed on towers multiple or can be installed stand alone on top of existing buildings.
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Stand alone antennas are small well below ft. 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.
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These 0G systems were not cellular , supported few simultaneous calls, and were very expensive. The development of metal-oxide-semiconductor MOS large-scale integration LSI technology, information theory and cellular networking led to the development of affordable mobile communications.
Mitchell   and Martin Cooper of Motorola in , using a handset weighing 2 kilograms 4. These first-generation 1G systems could support far more simultaneous calls but still used analog cellular technology. In , the DynaTAC x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone. This sparked competition in the sector as the new operators challenged the incumbent 1G network operators.
The lithium-ion battery , an indispensable energy source for modern mobile phones,  was commercialized by Sony and Asahi Kasei in By , it had become clear that, at some point, 3G networks would be overwhelmed by the growth of bandwidth-intensive applications, such as streaming media. 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.
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. 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.
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By contrast, smartphones generally use a mobile operating system that often shares common traits across devices. 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. 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. 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 neighboring 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.
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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. In order to handle the high traffic, multiple towers can be setup in the same area using different frequencies. Cellular can greatly increase the capacity of simultaneous wireless phone calls. While a phone company for example, has a license to frequencies, each cell must use unique frequencies with each call using one of them when communicating.
Because cells only slightly overlap, the same frequency can be reused. Example cell 1 uses frequency , next door cell uses frequency , next door can reuse frequency This is even more greatly increased when phone companies implemented digital networks. With digital, one frequency can host multiple simultaneous calls increasing capacity even more. As a phone moves around, a phone will "hand off" - automatically disconnect and reconnect to the tower of another cell 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. 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. 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  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.
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 , but taller aspect ratios became more common in Screen sizes are measured in diagonal inches ; feature phones generally have screen sizes below 3. Phones with screens larger than 5. 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 displays.
Some displays are integrated with pressure-sensitive digitizers, such as those developed by Wacom and Samsung ,  and Apple's " 3D Touch " system. 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.
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. The average phone battery lasts 2—3 years at best. Many of the wireless devices use a Lithium-Ion Li-Ion battery, which charges times, depending on how users take care of the battery and the charging techniques used. Battery life can be extended by draining it regularly, not overcharging it, and keeping it away from heat.
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 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. From onwards, such phones became popular in emerging markets,  and this was attributed to the desire to obtain the lowest on-net calling rate.
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".
The first SMS message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone in in the UK while the first person-to-person SMS from phone to phone was sent in Finland in The first mobile news service, delivered via SMS, was launched in Finland in , [ citation needed ] and subsequently many organizations provided "on-demand" and "instant" news services by SMS. The introduction of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch in July 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.
From to , Motorola was market leader in mobile phones. Nokia was the market leader in mobile phones from to Samsung has retained its top position since then. In , the top five manufacturers worldwide were Samsung 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.
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For example, a particular plan might provide for cheaper local calls, long-distance calls, international calls, or roaming. In , 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. 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. 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.
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Mobile payments were first trialled in Finland in when two Coca-Cola vending machines in Espoo were enabled to work with SMS payments. Eventually, the idea spread and in , 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.
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.
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. China has proposed using this technology to track the commuting patterns of Beijing city residents. 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. Hackers are able to track a phone's location, read messages, and record calls, just by knowing the phone number. 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.