Mobile phone

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Evolution of mobile phones, to an early smartphone Mobile phone evolution.jpg
Evolution of mobile phones, to an early smartphone

A mobile phone, cell phone, cellphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive calls over a radio frequency link while the user is moving within a telephone service area. The radio frequency link establishes a connection to the switching systems of a mobile phone operator, which provides access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Modern mobile telephone services use a cellular network architecture, and, therefore, mobile telephones are called cellular telephones or cell phones, in North America. In addition to telephony, 2000s-era mobile phones support a variety of other services, such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, video games, and digital photography. Mobile phones offering only those capabilities are known as feature phones; mobile phones which offer greatly advanced computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones.

Telephone telecommunications device

A telephone, or phone, is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into electronic signals that are transmitted via cables and other communication channels to another telephone which reproduces the sound to the receiving user.

Telephone call

A telephone call is a connection over a telephone network between the called party and the calling party.

Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation rate of an alternating electric current or voltage or of a magnetic, electric or electromagnetic field or mechanical system in the frequency range from around twenty thousand times per second to around three hundred billion times per second. This is roughly between the upper limit of audio frequencies and the lower limit of infrared frequencies; these are the frequencies at which energy from an oscillating current can radiate off a conductor into space as radio waves. Different sources specify different upper and lower bounds for the frequency range.

Contents

The first handheld mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell [1] [2] and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing c. 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs). [3] In 1979, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) launched the world's first cellular network in Japan. [4] In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone. From 1983 to 2014, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew to over seven billion—enough to provide one for every person on Earth. [5] In first quarter of 2016, the top smartphone developers worldwide were Samsung, Apple, and Huawei, and smartphone sales represented 78 percent of total mobile phone sales. [6] For feature phones (or "dumbphones") as of 2016, the largest were Samsung, Nokia, and Alcatel. [7]

John Francis Mitchell was an American electronics engineer and President & COO of Motorola.

Martin Cooper (inventor) American businessman

Martin "Marty" Cooper is an American engineer. He is a pioneer in the wireless communications industry, especially in radio spectrum management, with eleven patents in the field.

Motorola Mobility LLC is a U.S.-based consumer electronics and telecommunications company owned by Chinese technology firm Lenovo Group Limited. The company primarily manufactures smartphones and other mobile devices running the Android operating system developed by Google.

History

Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first publicized handheld mobile phone call on a prototype DynaTAC model on 3 April 1973. This is a reenactment in 2007. 2007Computex e21Forum-MartinCooper.jpg
Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first publicized handheld mobile phone call on a prototype DynaTAC model on 3 April 1973. This is a reenactment in 2007.

A handheld mobile radio telephone service was envisioned in the early stages of radio engineering. In 1917, Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt filed a patent for a "pocket-size folding telephone with a very thin carbon microphone". Early predecessors of cellular phones included analog radio communications from ships and trains. 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. These 0G systems were not cellular, supported few simultaneous calls, and were very expensive.

Finland Republic in Northern Europe

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. Finland is a Nordic country and is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.

Eric Tigerstedt Finnish inventor

Eric Magnus Campbell Tigerstedt was one of the most significant inventors in Finland at the beginning of the 20th century and has been called the "Thomas Edison of Finland". He was a pioneer of sound-on-film technology and made significant improvements to the amplification capacity of the vacuum valve. Having seen a showing of the Lumière brothers' new motion picture technology as a 9-year-old boy in Helsinki in 1896, he was inspired to bring sound to silent pictures.

An analog signal is any continuous signal for which the time-varying feature (variable) of the signal is a representation of some other time varying quantity, i.e., analogous to another time varying signal. For example, in an analog audio signal, the instantaneous voltage of the signal varies continuously with the pressure of the sound waves. It differs from a digital signal, in which the continuous quantity is a representation of a sequence of discrete values which can only take on one of a finite number of values. The term analog signal usually refers to electrical signals; however, mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, human speech, and other systems may also convey or be considered analog signals.

The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. First commercially available handheld cellular mobile phone, 1984. DynaTAC8000X.jpg
The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. First commercially available handheld cellular mobile phone, 1984.

The first handheld cellular mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell [1] [2] and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing 2 kilograms (4.4 lb). [3] The first commercial automated cellular network (1G) analog was launched in Japan by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in 1979. This was followed in 1981 by the simultaneous launch of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. [8] Several other countries then followed in the early to mid-1980s. These first-generation (1G) systems could support far more simultaneous calls but still used analog cellular technology. In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone.

1G refers to the first generation of wireless cellular technology. These are the analog telecommunications standards that were introduced in the 1980s and continued until being replaced by 2G digital telecommunications. The main difference between the two mobile cellular systems, is that the radio signals used by 1G networks are analog, while 2G networks are digital.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Japanese telecommunication company

The Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, commonly known as NTT, is a Japanese telecommunications company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Ranked 65th in Fortune Global 500, NTT is the fourth largest telecommunications company in the world in terms of revenue, as well as the third largest publicly traded company in Japan after Toyota and MUFG, as of September 2018.

Nordic Mobile Telephone

NMT is the first fully automatic cellular phone system. It was specified by Nordic telecommunications administrations (PTTs) and opened for service on 1 October 1981 as a response to the increasing congestion and heavy requirements of the manual mobile phone networks: ARP (150 MHz) in Finland, MTD (450 MHz) in Sweden and Denmark, and OLT in Norway.

In 1991, the second-generation (2G) digital cellular technology was launched in Finland by Radiolinja on the GSM standard. This sparked competition in the sector as the new operators challenged the incumbent 1G network operators.

2G is short for second-generation cellular technology. Second-generation 2G cellular networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja in 1991. Three primary benefits of 2G networks over their predecessors were that phone conversations were digitally encrypted; 2G systems were significantly more efficient on the spectrum enabling far greater wireless penetration levels; and 2G introduced data services for mobile, starting with SMS text messages. 2G technologies enabled the various networks to provide the services such as text messages, picture messages, and MMS. All text messages sent over 2G are digitally encrypted, allowing the transfer of data in such a way that only the intended receiver can receive and read it.

Radiolinja was a Finnish GSM operator founded on September 19, 1988. On March 27, 1991, the world's first GSM phone call was made on Radiolinja's network. The network was opened for commercial use on July 1, 1991.

GSM standard to describe protocols for second generation digital cellular networks used by mobile phones

GSM is a standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe the protocols for second-generation (2G) digital cellular networks used by mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. It was first deployed in Finland in December 1991. As of 2014, it has become the global standard for mobile communications – with over 90% market share, operating in over 193 countries and territories.

Ten years later, in 2001, the third generation (3G) was launched in Japan by NTT DoCoMo on the WCDMA standard. [9] This was followed by 3.5G, 3G+ or turbo 3G enhancements based on the high-speed packet access (HSPA) family, allowing UMTS networks to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity.

3G, short for third generation, is the third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology. It is the upgrade for 2G and 2.5G GPRS networks, for faster internet speed. This is based on a set of standards used for mobile devices and mobile telecommunications use services and networks that comply with the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specifications by the International Telecommunication Union. 3G finds application in wireless voice telephony, mobile Internet access, fixed wireless Internet access, video calls and mobile TV.

By 2009, it had become clear that, at some point, 3G networks would be overwhelmed by the growth of bandwidth-intensive applications, such as streaming media. [10] Consequently, the industry began looking to data-optimized fourth-generation technologies, with the promise of speed improvements up to ten-fold over existing 3G technologies. The first two commercially available technologies billed as 4G were the WiMAX standard, offered in North America by Sprint, and the LTE standard, first offered in Scandinavia by TeliaSonera.

5G is a technology and term used in research papers and projects to denote the next major phase in mobile telecommunication standards beyond the 4G/IMT-Advanced standards. The term 5G is not officially used in any specification or official document yet made public by telecommunication companies or standardization bodies such as 3GPP, WiMAX Forum or ITU-R. 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.

Types

Smartphone

Active mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2007-2014.svg
Active mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

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. However, in the developing world, they account for around 50% of mobile telephony.

Feature phone

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. [12] [13] Feature phones and basic mobile phones tend to use a proprietary, custom-designed software and user interface. By contrast, smartphones generally use a mobile operating system that often shares common traits across devices.

Kosher phone

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. [14] Phones with restricted features are known as kosher phones and have rabbinical approval for use in Israel and elsewhere by observant Orthodox Jews. 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. [15]

Infrastructure

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 neighbouring 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. 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.

As a phone moves around, a phone will "hand off"- automatically disconnect and reconnect to the tower 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.

Hardware

The common components found on all phones are:

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.

Central processing unit

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) [16] 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.

Display

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 16:9, but taller aspect ratios became more common in 2017.

Screen sizes are measured in diagonal inches; feature phones generally have screen sizes below 3.5 inches. Phones with screens larger than 5.2 inches are often called "phablets." Smartphones with screens over 4.5 inches in size are commonly difficult to use with only a single hand, since most thumbs cannot reach the entire screen surface; they may need to be shifted around in the hand, held in one hand and manipulated by the other, or used in place with both hands. 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 16:9 displays. [17] [18] [19]

Liquid-crystal displays are the most common; others are IPS, LED, OLED, and AMOLED displays. Some displays are integrated with pressure-sensitive digitizers, such as those developed by Wacom and Samsung, [20] and Apple's "3D Touch" system.

Sound

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. [21] [22] Audio quality can be improved using a VoIP application over WiFi. [23] Cellphones have small speakers so that the user can use a speakerphone feature and talk to a person on the phone without holding it to their ear. 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.

Battery

The average phone battery lasts 2–3 years at best. Many of the wireless devices use a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery, which charges 500-2500 times, depending on how users take care of the battery and the charging techniques used. [24] It is only natural for these rechargeable batteries to chemically age, which is why the performance of the battery when used for a year or two will begin to deteriorate. Battery life can be extended by draining it regularly, not overcharging it, and keeping it away from heat. [25] [26]

SIM card

Typical mobile phone mini-SIM card. Typical cellphone SIM cards.jpg
Typical mobile phone mini-SIM card.

Mobile phones require a small microchip called a Subscriber Identity Module or SIM card, in order to function. 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 securely stores the service-subscriber key (IMSI) and the Ki used to identify and authenticate the user of the mobile phone. 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. The first SIM card was made in 1991 by Munich smart card maker Giesecke & Devrient for the Finnish wireless network operator Radiolinja. [ citation needed ]

A hybrid mobile phone can hold up to four SIM cards, with a phone having an IMEI per SIM Card. SIM and R-UIM cards may be mixed together to allow both GSM and CDMA networks to be accessed. From 2010 onwards, such phones became popular in emerging markets, [27] and this was attributed to the desire to obtain the lowest on-net calling rate.

Software

Software platforms

Feature phones have basic software platforms.

Smartphones have advanced software platforms.

Mobile app

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".

Messaging
A text message (SMS). IPhone Text Message Amber Alert 1882467856 o.jpg
A text message (SMS).

A common data application on mobile phones is Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging. The first SMS message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone in 1992 in the UK while the first person-to-person SMS from phone to phone was sent in Finland in 1993. The first mobile news service, delivered via SMS, was launched in Finland in 2000,[ citation needed ] and subsequently many organizations provided "on-demand" and "instant" news services by SMS. Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) was introduced in 2001.[ citation needed ]

Application stores

The introduction of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch in July 2008 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. Following the success of the App Store, other smartphone manufacturers launched application stores, such as Google's Android Market (later renamed to the Google Play Store) and RIM's BlackBerry App World and Android-related app stores like F-Droid. In February 2014, 93% of mobile developers were targeting smartphones first for mobile app development. [28]

Sales

By manufacturer

Market share of top-five worldwide mobile phone vendors, Q2 2016
RankManufacturerStrategy
Analytics
report [29]
1 Samsung 22.3%
2 Apple 12.9%
3 Huawei 8.9%
4 Oppo 5.4%
5 Xiaomi 4.5%
Others46.0%
Note: Vendor shipments are
branded shipments and exclude
OEM sales for all vendors

From 1983 to 1998, Motorola was market leader in mobile phones. Nokia was the market leader in mobile phones from 1998 to 2012. [30] In Q1 2012, Samsung surpassed Nokia, selling 93.5 million units as against Nokia's 82.7 million units. Samsung has retained its top position since then. In 2017, the top five manufacturers worldwide were Samsung (20.9%), Apple (14.0%), Huawei (9.8%), Oppo (5.7%), and Vivo (6.5%). [31] During Q2 2018, Huawei overtook Apple as the world's second-largest phone manufacturer. [32]

By mobile phone operator

Growth in mobile phone subscribers per country from 1980 to 2009. Mobile phone map 1980-2009.gif
Growth in mobile phone subscribers per country from 1980 to 2009.

The world's largest individual mobile operator by number of subscribers is China Mobile, which has over 902 million mobile phone subscribers as of June 2018. [33] Over 50 mobile operators have over ten million subscribers each, and over 150 mobile operators had at least one million subscribers by the end of 2009. [34] In 2014, there were more than seven billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide, a number that is expected to keep growing.

Use

General

Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants. 2014 figure is estimated. Mobile phone subscribers 1997-2014 ITU.svg
Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants. 2014 figure is estimated.

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. For example, a particular plan might provide for cheaper local calls, long-distance calls, international calls, or roaming.

The mobile phone has been used in a variety of diverse contexts in society. For example:

Content distribution

In 1998, 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.

Mobile banking and payment

Mobile payment system. Mobile payment 01.jpg
Mobile payment system.

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. A pilot project in Bali was launched in 2011 by the International Finance Corporation and an Indonesian bank, Bank Mandiri. [43]

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. [44]

Mobile payments were first trialled in Finland in 1998 when two Coca-Cola vending machines in Espoo were enabled to work with SMS payments. Eventually, the idea spread and in 1999, 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). [45] Enabling contactless payments through NFC-equipped mobile phones requires the co-operation of manufacturers, network operators, and retail merchants. [46] [47] [48]

Mobile tracking

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. [49] [50]

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. [49]

China has proposed using this technology to track the commuting patterns of Beijing city residents. [51] In the UK and US, law enforcement and intelligence services use mobile phones to perform surveillance operations. 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. [52] [53]

Hackers are able to track a phone's location, read messages, and record calls, just by knowing the phone number. [54]

While driving

A driver using two hand-held mobile phones at once. Hand held phone in car.JPG
A driver using two hand-held mobile phones at once.
A sign in the U.S. restricting cell phone use to certain times of day NocellphonesSouthsidePlaceTX.JPG
A sign in the U.S. restricting cell phone use to certain times of day

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. In September 2010, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 995 people were killed by drivers distracted by cell phones. In March 2011, a U.S. insurance company, State Farm Insurance, announced the results of a study which showed 19% of drivers surveyed accessed the Internet on a smartphone while driving. [55] Many jurisdictions prohibit the use of mobile phones while driving. In Egypt, Israel, Japan, Portugal, and Singapore, both handheld and hands-free use of a mobile phone (which uses a speakerphone) is banned. In other countries, including the UK and France and in many U.S. states, only handheld phone use is banned while hands-free use is permitted.

A 2011 study reported that over 90% of college students surveyed text (initiate, reply or read) while driving. [56] The scientific literature on the dangers of driving while sending a text message from a mobile phone, or texting while driving , is limited. A simulation study at the University of Utah found a sixfold increase in distraction-related accidents when texting. [57]

Due to the increasing complexity of mobile phones, they are often more like mobile computers in their available uses. This has introduced additional difficulties for law enforcement officials when attempting to distinguish one usage from another in drivers using their devices. This is more apparent in countries which ban both handheld and hands-free usage, rather than those which ban handheld use only, as officials cannot easily tell which function of the mobile phone is being used simply by looking at the driver. This can lead to drivers being stopped for using their device illegally for a phone call when, in fact, they were using the device legally, for example, when using the phone's incorporated controls for car stereo, GPS or satnav.

A 2010 study reviewed the incidence of mobile phone use while cycling and its effects on behaviour and safety. [58] In 2013, a national survey in the US reported the number of drivers who reported using their cellphones to access the Internet while driving had risen to nearly one of four. [59] A study conducted by the University of Vienna examined approaches for reducing inappropriate and problematic use of mobile phones, such as using mobile phones while driving. [60]

Accidents involving a driver being distracted by talking on a mobile phone have begun to be prosecuted as negligence similar to speeding. In the United Kingdom, from 27 February 2007, motorists who are caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving will have three penalty points added to their license in addition to the fine of £60. [61] This increase was introduced to try to stem the increase in drivers ignoring the law. [62] Japan prohibits all mobile phone use while driving, including use of hands-free devices. New Zealand has banned hand-held cell phone use since 1 November 2009. Many states in the United States have banned texting on cell phones while driving. Illinois became the 17th American state to enforce this law. [63] As of July 2010, 30 states had banned texting while driving, with Kentucky becoming the most recent addition on 15 July. [64]

Public Health Law Research maintains a list of distracted driving laws in the United States. This database of laws provides a comprehensive view of the provisions of laws that restrict the use of mobile communication devices while driving for all 50 states and the District of Columbia between 1992 when first law was passed, through 1 December 2010. The dataset contains information on 22 dichotomous, continuous or categorical variables including, for example, activities regulated (e.g., texting versus talking, hands-free versus handheld), targeted populations, and exemptions. [65]

In 2010, an estimated 1500 pedestrians were injured in the US while using a cellphone and some jurisdictions have attempted to ban pedestrians from using their cellphones. [66] [67]

Health effects

The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health is the subject of recent[ when? ] interest and study, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world. Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, which some believe may be harmful to human health. A large body of research exists, both epidemiological and experimental, in non-human animals and in humans. The majority of this research shows no definite causative relationship between exposure to mobile phones and harmful biological effects in humans. This is often paraphrased simply as the balance of evidence showing no harm to humans from mobile phones, although a significant number of individual studies do suggest such a relationship, or are inconclusive. Other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks, produce similar radiation.[ citation needed ]

On 31 May 2011, the World Health Organization stated that mobile phone use may possibly represent a long-term health risk, [68] [69] classifying mobile phone radiation as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" after a team of scientists reviewed studies on mobile phone safety. [70] The mobile phone is in category 2B, which ranks it alongside coffee and other possibly carcinogenic substances. [71] [72]

Some recent[ when? ] studies have found an association between mobile phone use and certain kinds of brain and salivary gland tumors. Lennart Hardell and other authors of a 2009 meta-analysis of 11 studies from peer-reviewed journals concluded that cell phone usage for at least ten years "approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same ('ipsilateral') side of the head as that preferred for cell phone use". [73]

One study of past mobile phone use cited in the report showed a "40% increased risk for gliomas (brain cancer) in the highest category of heavy users (reported average: 30 minutes per day over a 10‐year period)". [74] This is a reversal of the study's prior position that cancer was unlikely to be caused by cellular phones or their base stations and that reviews had found no convincing evidence for other health effects. [69] [75] However, a study published 24 March 2012, in the British Medical Journal questioned these estimates because the increase in brain cancers has not paralleled the increase in mobile phone use. [76] Certain countries, including France, have warned against the use of mobile phones by minors in particular, due to health risk uncertainties. [77] Mobile pollution by transmitting electromagnetic waves can be decreased up to 90% by adopting the circuit as designed in mobile phone and mobile exchange. [78]

In May 2016, preliminary findings of a long-term study by the U.S. government suggested that radio-frequency (RF) radiation, the type emitted by cell phones, can cause cancer. [79] [80]

Educational impact

A study by the London School of Economics found that banning mobile phones in schools could increase pupils' academic performance, providing benefits equal to one extra week of schooling per year. [81]

Electronic waste regulation

Scrapped mobile phones. Handy schrott mobile phone scrap.jpg
Scrapped mobile phones.

Studies have shown that around 40–50% of the environmental impact of mobile phones occurs during the manufacture of their printed wiring boards and integrated circuits. [82]

The average user replaces their mobile phone every 11 to 18 months, [83] and the discarded phones then contribute to electronic waste. Mobile phone manufacturers within Europe are subject to the WEEE directive, and Australia has introduced a mobile phone recycling scheme. [84]

Apple Inc. had an advanced robotic disassembler and sorter called Liam specifically for recycling outdated or broken iPhones. [350]

Theft

According to the Federal Communications Commission, one out of three robberies involve the theft of a cellular phone.[ citation needed ] Police data in San Francisco show that half of all robberies in 2012 were thefts of cellular phones.[ citation needed ] An online petition on Change.org, called Secure our Smartphones , urged smartphone manufacturers to install kill switches in their devices to make them unusable if stolen. The petition is part of a joint effort by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and was directed to the CEOs of the major smartphone manufacturers and telecommunication carriers. [85] On 10 June 2013, Apple announced that it would install a "kill switch" on its next iPhone operating system, due to debut in October 2013. [86]

All mobile phones have a unique identifier called IMEI. Anyone can report their phone as lost or stolen with their Telecom Carrier, and the IMEI would be blacklisted with a central registry. [87] Telecom carriers, depending upon local regulation can or must implement blocking of blacklisted phones in their network. There are, however, a number of ways to circumvent a blacklist. One method is to send the phone to a country where the telecom carriers are not required to implement the blacklisting and sell it there, [88] another involves altering the phone's IMEI number. [89] Even so, mobile phones typically have less value on the second-hand market if the phones original IMEI is blacklisted.

An unusual example of a phone bill caused by theft (reported on 28 June 2018) was when a biological group in Poland put a GPS tracker on a white stork and released it; during autumn migration over the Blue Nile valley in eastern Sudan someone got hold of the stork's GPS tracker, and found in it a mobile-phone-type sim card, which he put in his mobile phone, and made 20 hours of calls on it, running up a bill of over 10,000 Polish zlotys (= $2700) for the biological group. [90]

Conflict minerals

Demand for metals used in mobile phones and other electronics fuelled the Second Congo War, which claimed almost 5.5 million lives. [91] In a 2012 news story, The Guardian reported: "In unsafe mines deep underground in eastern Congo, children are working to extract minerals essential for the electronics industry. The profits from the minerals finance the bloodiest conflict since the second world war; the war has lasted nearly 20 years and has recently flared up again. ... For the last 15 years, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been a major source of natural resources for the mobile phone industry." [92] The company Fairphone has worked to develop a mobile phone that does not contain conflict minerals.

See also

Related Research Articles

Smartphone multi-purpose mobile device

Smartphones are a class of mobile phones and of multi-purpose mobile computing devices. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate wider software, internet, and multimedia functionality, alongside core phone functions such as voice calls and text messaging. Smartphones typically include various sensors that can be leveraged by their software, such as a magnetometer, proximity sensors, barometer, gyroscope and accelerometer, and support wireless communications protocols such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and satellite navigation.

A SIM lock, simlock, network lock, carrier lock or (master) subsidy lock is a technical restriction built into GSM and CDMA mobile phones by mobile phone manufacturers for use by service providers to restrict the use of these phones to specific countries and/or networks. This is in contrast to a phone that does not impose any SIM restrictions.

Mobile phone spam

Mobile phone spam is a form of spam, directed at the text messaging or other communications services of mobile phones or smartphones. As the popularity of mobile phones surged in the early 2000s, frequent users of text messaging began to see an increase in the number of unsolicited commercial advertisements being sent to their telephones through text messaging. This can be particularly annoying for the recipient because, unlike in email, some recipients may be charged a fee for every message received, including spam. Mobile phone spam is generally less pervasive than email spam, where in 2010 around 90% of email is spam. The amount of mobile spam varies widely from region to region. In North America, mobile spam has steadily increased from 2008 ed 2012, but remains below 1% as of December 2012. In parts of Asia up to 30% of messages were spam in 2012.

The International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI is a number, usually unique, to identify 3GPP and iDEN mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones. It is usually found printed inside the battery compartment of the phone, but can also be displayed on-screen on most phones by entering *#06# on the dialpad, or alongside other system information in the settings menu on smartphone operating systems.

Mobile computing use of portable computers

Mobile computing is human–computer interaction by which a computer is expected to be transported during normal usage, which allows for transmission of data, voice and video. Mobile computing involves mobile communication, mobile hardware, and mobile software. Communication issues include ad hoc networks and infrastructure networks as well as communication properties, protocols, data formats and concrete technologies. Hardware includes mobile devices or device components. Mobile software deals with the characteristics and requirements of mobile applications.

A mobile device is a computing device small enough to hold and operate in the hand. Typically, any handheld computer device will have an LCD or OLED flatscreen interface, providing a touchscreen interface with digital buttons and keyboard or physical buttons along with a physical keyboard. Many such devices can connect to the Internet and interconnect with other devices such as car entertainment systems or headsets via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular networks or near field communication (NFC). Integrated cameras, digital media players, the ability to place and receive telephone calls, video games, and Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities are common. Power is typically provided by a lithium battery. Mobile devices may run mobile operating systems that allow third-party apps specialized for said capabilities to be installed and run.

Mobile telephony collective term for the operation of mobile telephone devices

Mobile telephony is the provision of telephone services to phones which may move around freely rather than stay fixed in one location. Mobile phones connect to a terrestrial cellular network of base stations, whereas satellite phones connect to orbiting satellites. Both networks are interconnected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to allow any phone in the world to be dialed.

History of mobile phones covers mobile communication devices which connect wirelessly to the public switched telephone network

The history of mobile phones covers mobile communication devices that connect wirelessly to the public switched telephone network.

TracFone Wireless, Inc. is a prepaid mobile virtual network operator in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. TracFone Wireless is a subsidiary of Mexico's largest telecommunications company América Móvil, and offers products and services under several other brands. It operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), holding agreements with the United States' largest wireless network operators to provide service using their networks, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US, Sprint Corporation, and U.S. Cellular. TracFone Wireless had 25.668 million subscribers in 2015.

Mobile phone tracking ascertaining of the position of a mobile phone

Mobile phone tracking is a process for identifying the location of a mobile phone, whether stationary or moving. Localization may occur either via multilateration of radio signals between (several) cell towers of the network and the phone, or simply via GPS. To locate a mobile phone using multilateration of radio signals, it must emit at least the roaming signal to contact the next nearby antenna tower, but the process does not require an active call. The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is based on the phone's signal strength to nearby antenna masts.

Mobile phone features

The features of mobile phones are the set of capabilities, services and applications that they offer to their users. Mobile phones are often referred to as feature phones, and offer basic telephony. Handsets with more advanced computing ability through the use of native code try to differentiate their own products by implementing additional functions to make them more attractive to consumers. This has led to great innovation in mobile phone development over the past 20 years.

Mobile phones and driving safety

Mobile phone use while driving is common, but it is widely considered dangerous due to its potential for causing distracted driving and crashes. Due to the number of crashes that are related to conducting calls on a phone and texting while driving, some jurisdictions have made the use of calling on a phone while driving illegal. Many jurisdictions have enacted laws to ban handheld mobile phone use. Nevertheless, many jurisdictions allow use of a hands-free device. Driving while using a hands-free device is not safer than using a handheld phone to conduct calls, as concluded by case-crossover studies, epidemiological, simulation, and meta-analysis. In some cases restrictions are directed only at minors, those who are newly qualified license holders, or to drivers in school zones. In addition to voice calling, activities such as texting while driving, web browsing, playing video games, or phone use in general can also increase the risk of a crash.

Phone cloning is the copying of identity from one cellular device to another.

Texting while driving texting while driving

Texting while driving, also called texting and driving, is the act of composing, sending, reading text messages, email, or making similar use of the web on a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle. Texting while driving is considered extremely dangerous by many people, including authorities, and in some places have either been outlawed or restricted. A survey of more than 90 teens from more than 26 high schools throughout the United States conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance Group in 2006 showed that 46% of students consider texting to be either "very" or "extremely" distracting. An American Automobile Association study showed that 34% of teens admitted to being distracted behind the wheel because of texting and 40% of American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. A study involving commercial vehicle operators conducted in September 2009 concluded that though incidence of texting within their dataset was low, texting while driving increased the risk of accident significantly.

Feature phone

Feature phone is a term typically used as a retronym to describe a class of devices that are still technically otherwise smartphones, besides their lack of highly advanced hardware and capabilities of modern ones. Feature phones tend to use a proprietary, custom-designed software and user interface, and 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. Feature phones have a backlit LCD screen and micro USB port and have a physical keyboard, a microphone, SD card slot, a rear-facing camera to record video and capture pictures; and GPS. Some feature phones include a rudimentary app store that include basic software such as mobile games, calendar and calculator programs.

Mobile technology is the technology used for cellular communication. Mobile code-division multiple access (CDMA) technology has evolved rapidly over the past few years. Since the start of this millennium, a standard mobile device has gone from being no more than a simple two-way pager to being a mobile phone, GPS navigation device, an embedded web browser and instant messaging client, and a handheld gaming console. Many experts believe that the future of computer technology rests in mobile computing with wireless networking. Mobile computing by way of tablet computers are becoming more popular. Tablets are available on the 3G and 4G networks.

Mobile security, or more specifically mobile device security, has become increasingly important in mobile computing. Of particular concern is the security of personal and business information now stored on smartphones.

Mobile phone overuse

Mobile phone overuse is a dependence syndrome seen among mobile phone users. Some mobile phone users exhibit problematic behaviors related to substance use disorders. These behaviors can include preoccupation with mobile communication, excessive money or time spent on mobile phones, use of mobile phones in socially or physically inappropriate situations such as driving an automobile. Increased use can also lead to increased time on mobile communication, adverse effects on relationships, and anxiety if separated from a mobile phone or sufficient signal.

Cellphone surveillance may involve the tracking, bugging, monitoring, interception and recording of conversations and text messages on mobile phones. It also encompasses the monitoring of people's movements, which can be tracked using mobile phone signals when phones are turned on. In the United States, law enforcement agencies can legally monitor the movements of people from their mobile phone signals upon obtaining a court order to do so. Cellphone spying software is software that is surreptitiously installed on mobile phones that can enable these actions.

Google Fi is an MVNO telecommunications service by Google that provides telephone calls, SMS, and mobile broadband using cellular networks and Wi-Fi. Google Fi uses networks operated by Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Three.

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Further reading