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Computer Networking and Telecommunications Research

Analogue Mobiles - 1G

Collection_of_ETACS_mobile_phones

The mobile phone owes its existence to the success of the mobile car telephone service. However, a major limitation on the expansion and further development of the car telephone service was the availability of radio spectrum. This was solved by DH Ring and WR Young who in December 1947 published a Bell Laboratories’ article entitled Mobile Telephony – Wide Area Coverage. Here they proposed the concept of a cellular network in which the country is divided up into small regions called cells, managed by radio base stations, in which the allocated radio frequencies could be re-used time and time again throughout the network, provided that no two adjacent cells used the same frequency. It did of course mean that as a person moves within the network so their telephone call needs to be passed from one cell to another, with the frequency being used having to be changed. Nevertheless, the concept of frequency re-use overcame the radio spectrum limitations of the car telephone service and heralded the arrival of the mobile phone.

It was not until 1974 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the USA released part of the radio frequency spectrum that the first experimental cellular communication could take place. In 1977 Illinois Bell, the AT&T operating company for Chicago, installed the first cellular telephone network comprising 10 radio base stations, each of which managed a single cell meaning that the overall network comprised just 10 cells. The success of this network would see the development of the American Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) in 1983. This system used the frequencies 824-849 MHz for transmission from the mobile and 869-894 MHz for transmission from the cell's base station. Within these frequency bands, each voice call was allocated a 30 kHz analogue radio channel using frequency division multiple access to allocate the frequencies and to ensure that no two calls would choose the same frequency.

In Europe, mobile phone development was led by the Scandinavian countries, collectively creating the Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT) network which was launched in Sweden and Norway in 1981 and Denmark and Finland in 1982. The first NMT network was based on 450 MHz and hence became known as NMT-450 and this was followed in 1986 by a second network that used the 890-960 MHz frequency band and became known as NMT-900.

The UK Government announced in 1982 that two licences would be offered for the provision of mobile phone network services. One of these licences was to be awarded to British Telecom working in partnership with Securicor which resulted in the creation of Cellnet and the second was opened up for competitive bids. The successful bidder for this second licence was Vodafone (VOice and DAta over the teleFONE), a joint venture between Racal Electronics and Millicom. Both of these networks adopted a version of the AMPS system which became known as the Total Access Communication System (TACS). Initially the UK Government announced that they had reserved two 25MHz frequency bands for TACS namely, 890-915MHz and 935-960MHz however, only 15 MHz of these channels was actually released. Therefore, the TACs system used 890-905MHz for transmission from the mobile and 935-950MHz for transmission from the cell's base station giving it a capacity of 600 x 25kHz channels. Vodafone was the first UK network to launch when Comedian Ernie Wise made a mobile telephone call from St Katherine's Dock in London to Vodafone's offices in Newbury on the 1st January 1985. Cellnet launched shortly afterwards on 7th January 1985; its network was centred on a single base station at BT Tower that provided coverage for the whole of Greater London.

The Governments of Europe had agreed that 10MHz of bandwidth would be reserved for the next generation of pan-European mobile phone services. Within the UK this equated to the upper 10MHz of the TACs bands and so these frequencies would never be made available for analogue networks. However, the growth in mobile phone usage had reached such a level, especially in London, that the network operators were running out of capacity. Therefore additional frequencies were released at the lower end of the existing TACs band. These frequencies had previously been allocated for military applications and were released to the mobile phone operators in August 1986. The addition of these extra frequencies extended TACs into ETACS which now used 872-905MHz for transmission from the mobile and 917-950MHz for transmission from the cell's base station thereby increasing capacity to 1320 x 25 kHz channels.

All of these first generation mobile networks used analogue transmission techniques in which voice signals are not encrypted during a telephone call. This meant that someone with an appropriate radio receiver could tune in and listen to calls and, equally, the speech quality was highly variable.

Collection_of_ETACS_handheld_mobiles

The first mobile phones were a direct development from the car telephone units; they were dominated by large, heavy battery packs and had s separate handset connected via a length of curly wire. Motorola, with their strong history in radio telecommunications, were especially influential in these early days and truly revolutionised the industry with the launch of what many regard as the first true mobile phone, the DynaTAC 8000. This was followed by the world's first flip phone, the Motorola MicroTAC which further revolutionised and miniaturised the mobile phone. These early days also saw Finnish company, Nokia, establish themselves as the world's second largest mobile phone manufacturer behind Motorola. The first ten years in the history of the mobile phone saw a massive advancement in performance and usability. At the start of the mobile revolution a typical mobile weighed 4.5kg and required a carrying handle; by 1995 mobiles weighed 250g and could fit inside a shirt pocket. Owning a mobile however, was expensive which meant that companies marketed the mobile to the business community showing the benefits of always being in contact with the office or your customers. For example, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X cost £2,500 to purchase. On top of this you had a monthly contract fee with your mobile phone network provider and had to pay call charges too, calculated on a per minute basis. Even by the mid 1990s prices remained high. Connecting to the BT Cellnet network required you to pay a one-off connection charge of £50, a monthly contract fee of £55 with calls charged at 23p per minute during the peak times of Monday-Saturday 09:00 to 22:00 or 12p per minute at all other times. No wonder that call timers became a standard feature of mobile phones!

By the end of 1986 there were 100,000 mobile phone subscribers within the UK which doubled to 200,000 by the summer of 1987 and by the end of 1995, 7% of the UK population owned a mobile phone. The mobile phone also started to become accepted as part of society with companies seeking to showcase their models in feature films such as 20th Century Fox's Wall Street and television programmes such as the BBC's Only Fools and Horses.

Yet, despite all of the advances made in terms of weight, miniaturisation and battery life, a mobile phone in 1995 was designed to provide the same basic function as the first models that were released in 1985, namely to make and receive telephone calls.

Now enjoy seeing how the mobile phone began life by viewing our collection of these first generation analogue mobiles each of which is organised in approximate chronological order.

 

   
Nokia_Mobira_Talkman

Nokia Mobira Talkman

In 1979 the Finnish company Nokia merged with Salora to establish Mobira Oy through which they developed mobile phones for the Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT) network. In 1984 Nokia fully bought out Salora and changed its name to Nokia-Mobira Oy. The Nokia Mobira Talkman was one of the world's first transportable mobile phones which it was launched in 1984. The model shown here is actually branded as a Vodafone/Racal ME50T and is marked as Made in Finland for Racal. It was available for UK mobile phone networks.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue TACS

Weight = 4.7kg
Dimensions = 225 x 105 x 250 mm (aerial = 250 mm)
Battery life = unknown

   

Technophone_PC105T

Technophone_PC105T_back_cover

Technophone PC105T

Technophone was a UK company set up by Nils Martensson in 1984, a Swedish engineer who had previously worked for Ericsson. His goal was to transform the mobile phone from a large, cumbersome brick into a portable, small and usable device. Technophone sold their mobile phones through Excell Communications branded as the Excell M1 and M2 or PC105T. The Pocketphone PC105T shown here was released in 1986 and retailed at £1,990 but as the adverts showed, it did indeed fit inside a standard sized shirt pocket! Technophone were soon selling 1000 Pocketphones per month.

By 1991 Technophone had become Europe's second largest mobile phone manufacturer with a turnover of £49 million but this was still a distant second to Nokia who were Europe's largest mobile phone manufacturer with a turnover of £330 million. However, in 1991 Nils Martensson sold Technophone to Nokia for £34 million. This acquisition helped propel Nokia to become the world's number two mobile phone manufacturer behind Motorola.

The Technophone PC105T Pocketphone had a major influence on the future of mobile phone design because of the advances made in miniaturisation. However, the phone did have a poor reputation which meant that it had a tendency to drop calls thereby necessitation consumers to register their phones for use on both the Cellnet and Vodafone networks. Battery life was also limited but you could buy a supplementary battery pack that plugged onto the bottom of the phone. Technophone were a finalist in the 1988 Price of Wales Award for Innovation and Production as featured on the BBC's Tomorrow's World programme which is available to watch on YouTube.

The example of the PFC105T shown here is missing its aerial. Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 531g
Dimensions = 185 x 75 x 30 mm
Battery life = 20 minutes talk time, 6 hours standby

   
Motorola_8500X

Motorola 8500X

In the USA, Motorola revolutionised the design of the mobile phone with their Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage (DynaTAC) 8000X range. Introduced in 1983, the Motorola 8000X was the culmination of 15 years of research by Dr Martin Cooper and Rudy Krolopp and it established the mobile as a genuinely hand-held and portable device. Miniaturisation had come at a price though with talk time reduced to 30 minutes and 8 hours standby time. Its price tag of some £2,500 also placed it out of reach of the average person and so it became synonymous with the yuppie in the UK and is also affectionately known as the brick phone. However, more than any other phone design, the Motorola 8000 has come to epitomise the mobile of the 1980s. The Motorola 8000X was available in three colour schemes: dark grey, tan and grey, or tan and white.

The Motorola 8500X shown here was introduced in 1987 and became extremely popular in Europe. The screen displayed up to 7 digits of a telephone number and included an In Use indicator to show that a call was in progress, No Svc to show that you were out of network range and Roam to signify that your mobile was trying to connect to a different network. In addition to the standard 12 key keypad 9 keys provided access to special functions. These included RCL used to recall numbers from memory, CLR to erase the last digit entered, SND to initiate a call, STO to store numbers in memory, FCN to access secondary functions, END to terminate a telephone call, PWR to turn the mobile on and off, NAME to store and recall alphanumeric names from memory and VOL for adjusting the volume. In total 99 telephone numbers and associated names could be stored in the address book memory. A range of timers were included for measuring the duration of calls and the signal strength could be displayed by pressing the FCN key twice.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 730g
Dimensions = 200 (270 including the aerial) x 40 x 85 mm
Battery life = 1 hour talk time, 13 hours standby

   
NEC_9A

NEC 9A

The Nippon Electric Company (NEC) was formed in Japan in 1898 specialising in the manufacture of telephones and switches which naturally meant that they would enter the mobile phone marketplace.

NEC launched the NEC 9A (NEC TR5E 1320-9A) into the UK in 1987 where it was well received, rapidly becoming the fastest selling mobile because it was lighter and offered more functions than its rivals.

In addition to the standard telephone functions, the NEC 9A included an address book that could record up to 60 telephone numbers and associated names. Its 3 line, 30 character LCD display had back light illumination, as did the keypad. A built in loudspeaker facilitated hands free operation. The NEC 9A could be fitted with either a quarter or half (shown here) wave-length antenna and included a five bar signal strength indicator with the recommendation that you should have at least three bars showing before making a call. The phone was turned on and off by a slider switch on the back and a standard 12 key keypad was supplemented with 6 additional keys, SND used to initiate a call, FCN to enable access to the telephone's features, END to terminate a call, STO to store a number in the address book, RCL to recall a number from the address book and CLR to clear the contents of the display.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 690g
Dimensions = 195 x 62 x 50 mm (aerial = 175mm)
Battery life = 80 minutes talk time, 20 hours standby

 

 

Nokia_Mobira_Cityman_1320

Nokia-Mobira Cityman 1320

Motorola dominated the early development of the mobile phone but a challenge was to emerge from Finland. Nokia-Mobira Oy had been established in 1984 to produce transportables for the Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT) network. However, the Nokia-Mobira Cityman 1320 was their first truly hand held mobile. It was released in 1987 and became a direct competitor to the Motorola 8000X range. By 1988 Nokia had secured 13.5% of the mobile phone market. The Nokia Cityman was released in three versions, the Cityman 450 for the NMT-450 network, the Cityman 900 for the NMT-900 network and this one, the Cityman 1320 for the broader European ETACS network.

Nokia-Mobira famously staged a photo opportunity with the then Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev, making a call using a Cityman mobile from Helsinki to Moscow, which resulted in these phones being nicknamed Gorbas.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 750g
Dimensions = 185 x 40 x 80 mm (aerial = 80 mm)
Battery life = unknown

   
Motorola_4500X

Motorola 4500X

The Motorola 4500X transportable mobile phone became available in 1988 and was derived from earlier car phone designs. It was portable but weighing 4.2kg it took a strong arm to carry it any distance. Most of the weight came from the battery however, you were lucky to get more than one hour of talk time and the battery needed regular charging. This model is branded as British Telecom and had a red LED display, a standard 12 digit numeric keypad and 5 additional keys that provided PWR which turned the mobile on and off, END which was used to terminate calls, SND which initiated dialling once the telephone number had been entered, MUTE which turned the microphone off and FCN which, when used in combination with other keys, gave access to range of secondary functions such as call timers. On the side of the handset is a button for controlling the speaker and ringer volume.

Analogue TACS

Weight = 4.2kg
Dimensions = 265 x 120 x 180 mm
Battery life = 1 hour talk time, standby time unknown

 


Motorola_8900X_2

Motorola 8900X-2

The Motorola 8900X-2 was released as the Ultra Classic in the USA but was known as the 8900X in Europe. It was a slimmer design than its predecessors and became available in 1989. The standard 12 key keypad was extended by 9 function keys being labelled with symbols rather than three letter codes. Nevertheless the same basic functions were provided as per the Motorola 8500X. These included buttons to delete the last number entered, initiating and terminating calls, volume adjustment, access to secondary features, power on and off and address book memory store and recall. In addition a lock key (indicated by a key symbol) was used to lock the keypad. The address book could only store 20 telephone numbers and associated names but did include a speed redial capability.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 520g
Dimensions = 200 (270 including the aerial) x 40 x 60 mm
Battery life = 1 hour talk time, 13 hours standby

 


Motorola_Ultra_Classic

Motorola Ultra Classic

The Motorola Ultra Classic was released in the USA in 1989 and is the equivalent of the European 8900X. This particular example operated on the USWEST Cellular Network – now part of Qwest Communications International. The keypad layout is the same as the Motorola 8500X except for the fact that the NAME key on the 8500X is replaced on the Ultra Classic with a LOCK key which, it is assumed, locked the phone's keypad. It is also assumed that the remaining keys performed the same functions as those on the Motorola 8500X.

Analogue AMPS

Weight = 570g
Dimensions = 200 (340 including the aerial) x 40 x 60 mm
Battery life = 1 hour talk time, 13 hours standby

 


Motorola_Micro_TAC

Motorola MicroTAC

In 1989 Motorola once again redefined the face of the mobile phone with the launch of the MicroTAC. This brought major new advances in miniaturisation, style and usability. Whilst it may be regarded as large and heavy by today's standards, in its day it was simply amazingly light and small and influenced the design of a whole new generation of mobiles. The Motorola MicroTAC introduced the concept of the flip phone where a moveable plate covered and revealed part of the keypad. The small hole in the flip plate gave the impression of it being the microphone but was in fact false; the microphone remained firmly within the main body of the phone and the flip plate was entirely cosmetic. So too was the extending aerial. This was a piece of plastic but was included because market research had revealed that the public expected the phone to have an external aerial. In reality the MicroTAC had an internal aerial.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 290g
Dimensions = 145 x 60 x 45 mm
Battery life = 100 minutes talk time, 24 hours standby

   
Maxon_EPC590E

Maxon EPC590E

Maxon Telecom Co., Ltd. was established in 1974 as Maxon Korea and changed its name to Maxon Telecom in 2000. Its headquarters were in Seoul, South Korea but the company went bankrupt in 2004. The Maxon EPC590E is believed to date from 1989.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 488g
Dimensions = 195 (285 including the aerial) x 56 x 45 mm
Battery life = unknown

 


Motorola_4800X_Partner

Motorola 4800X Partner

The Motorola 4800X Partner transportable mobile phone became available in 1990 and was an enhancement to the earlier Motorola 4800X model. It featured an LCD display and a slightly expanded keypad. The standard 12 key numeric keypad was supplemented by the special keys of PWR, FCN, SND, and END as per the 4500X. Additionally, the 4800X offered RCL which allowed users to recall and display telephone numbers that had been stored in memory. Some versions of the 4800X included a MUTE button as per the 4500X model however, the version shown here has instead a LOCK key, a function that had previously been accessed by typing FCN 5. A speaker and ringer volume control button is provided on the side of the handset. There was also an address book that could store up to 50 telephone numbers and associated names with speed dial access.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 4.2kg
Dimensions = 265 x 120 x 180 mm
Battery life = 75 minutes talk time, 14 hours standby

 


Nokia_Cityman_100

Nokia Cityman 100

Following on from the success of the Nokia-Mobira 1320, the company was re-branded as Nokia Mobile Phones in 1989 and launched the Nokia Cityman 100 in 1990. This offered further levels of miniaturisation and improvements in portability.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 485g
Dimensions = 180 x 60 x 35 mm (aerial = 80mm)
Battery life = unknown

 


NEC_P3

NEC P3

The NEC P3 became available on UK mobile phone networks in 1990, retailing for £500 under contract. NEC claimed that the P3 was the first truly personal pocket phone being small, reasonably light (compared to other phones) and with good battery life. It succeeded the NEC 9A, being smaller thanks to a reduction in the internal circuitry and battery size but offering an improved performance. The battery offered longer talk and standby times, the address book was extended to store up to 99 telephone numbers and associated names and it had a built in clock with an alarm feature. The NEC P3 is shown here within its charging cradle.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 440g
Dimensions = 185 x 59 x 30 mm (aerial = 160 mm)
Battery life = 80 minutes talk time, 18 hours standby

 


Racal_EB_3601

RACAL EB-3601

Racal was established in 1950 in Isleworth, London being formed by RAymond Brown and George CALder Cunningham and specialising in electronics. Racal was the parent company of Vodafone before the mobile company was sold in 1991. Ultimately Racal was bought by the French company Thomson-CSF in 2000.

This mobile is identified as a Racal EB-3601 and carries the Vodafone branding. However, it also states Made in Japan. Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile. However, it is assumed to date from the early 1990s.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 530g
Dimensions = 200 x 60 x 40 mm
Battery life = unknown

 


Nokia_101

Nokia 101

The Nokia 101 (firmware code THX-6X) was released in 1992 as Nokia's first candy bar design mobile; so called because of its resemblance to the shape of a chocolate bar. Nokia promoted the 101 as a phone designed to slip comfortably and unobtrusively into your pocket. Their advertising claimed that the Nokia 101 was the world's most portable phone. In addition to the basic phone features it provided an address book that could store up to 50 telephone numbers and associate names, single key speed dialling, call timers and both battery capacity and signal strength indicators.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 280g
Dimensions = 170 x 55 x27 mm
Battery life = 50 minutes talk time, 11 hours standby

 


Motorola_MicroTAC_Lite_II

Motorola MicroTAC Lite II

The development of the Motorola MicroTAC continued with the launch of the Motorola MicroTAC Lite II in 1992. It was marketed as the phone designed to fit in a shirt pocket and was noticeably thinner and lighter than its predecessors.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 210g
Dimensions = 145 x 60 x 35
Battery life = unknown

 


Blaupunkt_Handy_Com_582

Blaupunkt HandyCom 582

Blaupunkt GmbH was formed in 1923 as a wholly owned subsidiary of German company Robert Bosch GmbH. Based in Hildesheim, Germany, Blaupunkt became a leading manufacturer of car radio and audio equipment in the 1960s and 70s. Consequently the movement into mobile phones was a natural progression for the company.

The Blaupunkt HandyCom 582 was released in 1992. It provided all of the basic phone functions including redial, an address book memory that could store up to 99 names and telephone numbers and a range of feature menus that provided access to functions such as security, call handling, tones, timers and a signal strength meter.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 285g
Dimensions = 155 x 60 x 35 mm
Battery life = unknown

 


Technophone_417

Technophone 417

Technophone was a British mobile phone manufacturer that was taken over by Nokia in 1991 (see Technophone PC105T entry) however, Nokia retained the Technophone brand for a time. The Technophone 417 (firmware code THX-72X) became available in 1992 and after the takeover by Nokia. However, Nokia did retain the Technophone branding for a few years but the phone's firmware code clearly follows the Nokia format.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 320g
Dimensions = 170 x 60 x 33 mm
Battery life = unknown

 


Nokia_100

Nokia 100

The Nokia 100 (firmware code THX-91X) was released in 1992 as part of its candy bar range of mobiles. The particular model shown here carries the BT branding.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.


Analogue ETACS

Weight = 340g
Dimensions = 186 x 58 x 34 mm
Battery life = 1 hour talk time, 12 hours standby

 

 

Motorola_TeleTAC_200

Motorola TeleTAC 200

The Motorola TeleTAC 200 was released in 1992 and resembled the MicroTAC and FlipPhone but without the flip. It had a green LED display and provided 8 function keys over and above the standard 12 key keypad. These keys were PWR for turning the mobile on and off, VOL for adjusting the volume, FCN for accessing secondary features, END for terminating calls, SND for initiating calls, CLR for deleting the last number entered, STO for accessing the address book memory and RCL for recalling numbers from memory. The address book could store up to 12 telephone numbers with speed dial access.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 275g
Dimensions = 140 x 57 x 38 mm
Battery life = 45 minutes talk time, 8 hours standby

 


Sony_CM_H333_Mars_Bar

Sony CM-H333

At interesting and iconic mobile that made some attempt to challenge the dominance of Motorola was the Sony CM-H333 which was released in 1992. It became one of the most desirable handsets of its time and was the first to come with a sliding earpiece that moved up and down to answer and end calls. It earned its mars bar nickname because of its chunky design. It retailed at £199 but offered an address book that could only store 3 telephone numbers accessed via the one-touch dialling buttons A, B or C located at the bottom of the keypad.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 235g
Dimensions = 150 x 40 x 40 mm
Battery life = 90 minutes talk time, 24 hours standby

 


VODAC_NEC_P4

VODAC NEC P4

VODAC was Racal's (the parent company of Vodafone) service provider being concerned with the supply of mobile phones and the selling of airtime contracts to customers. VODAC prided itself on delivering good customer care to ensure subscriber satisfaction and loyalty.

The VODAC mobile shown here is an NEC P4 (firmware code MP5B2A2-1D) which was released in 1992. It retailed for £700 and became well known for its unusual angular shape. VODAC promoted the P4's relative small size and weight by marketing it as the first phone which you could forget was in your pocket.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 260g
Dimensions = 153 x 56 x 30 mm
Battery life = 1 hour talk time, standby = 24 hours

   
Motorola_P4000_(Ford)

Motorola P4000

The Motorola P4000 shown here carries the Ford logo and was given to customers who bought new cars. It is believed to date from the early 1990s and appears to be based on the Motorola TeleTAC body. An interesting feature of this phone is the number 1 key which can be used to make a direct call to the RAC roadside recovery service.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 285g
Dimensions = 160 x 60 x 35 mm
Battery life = unknown

   
Technophone_305_with_box_and_manual

Technophone 305

This Technophone 305 (PC215T) was released in 1992. Technophone was a British mobile phone manufacturer that was taken over by Nokia in 1991 (see Technophone PC105T entry) however, Nokia retained the Technophone brand for a time. The Technophone 305's display comprised two rows; an upper row of 10 characters and a lower status row that included a signal strength, battery and volume indicator and a status message to show what function was being performed, i.e. CALL, BUSY, MUTE. An address book stored 99 telephone numbers and associated names of up to 10 characters each. Advanced function were provided through three menus that gave access to features such as loudspeaker mode, name search, the selection of one of four ring tones, a range of call timers and a battery warning / save function.

The Technophone 305 was advertised as leading the world in cellular telephone technology. The marketing carried on the box proclaimed: With the support of leading edge manufacturing technology, the Technophone range benefits from substantial and continuous investment in research and development. With cellular telephone products amongst the best in the world, Technophone is a world leader in this rapidly advancing field. Technophone cellular phones are amongst the most advanced in the world forming a range as innovative as it is technologically advanced.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 285g
Dimensions = 180 x 60 x 22.7 mm (aerial = 80 mm)
Battery life = unknown

   
Technophone_405_pair

Technophone 405

The Technophone 405 was released in the summer of 1992. Technophone was a British mobile phone manufacturer that was taken over by Nokia in 1991 (see Technophone PC105T entry) however, Nokia retained the Technophone brand for a time. In 21st May 1992 edition of Mobile Phone News, it was reported that whilst the Technophone 305 and 405 were being released at the same time, they were in fact distinctly different mobiles. The Technophone 405 was defined as a premium model and adverts promoted its exceptional audio clarity.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Two examples of the Technophone 405 are shown here. The model on the left with the shorter aerial carries the Nokia manufacturer code of THX-65Y whereas the model on the right with the longer aerial carriers the Nokia manufacturer code of THX-65X.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 320g
Dimensions = 168 x 57 x 32 mm
Battery life = unknown

 


NEC_P100

NEC P100 / BT Jade

The NEC P100 was introduced in 1993 and was a well regarded basic phone with, for the time, a good battery life. The LCD screen displayed 2 lines of characters and included a signal strength and battery level indicator. It could store up to 24 telephone numbers with speed dial access, had last number redial, controls to adjust the ringer volume, a call timer function and a noise cancelling microphone. A signal strength and battery power level meter function was also provided by means of a series of 5 or 4 boxes shown on the screen.

The two examples of the NEC P100 shown here are, on the left, a BT Jade (firmware code MP5B2B2-1A) for use on the Cellnet network and on the right a VODAC P100 (firmware code MP5B2B7-1A) for use on the Vodafone network. The BT Jade was marketed as being light, sturdy and robust and able to fit neatly into your handbag or jacket so you can always have it to hand. It initially retailed for £299.99 but for Christmas 1993 BT offered a special promotion in which you could obtain it for £189.99 with 150 minutes of calls free per year included in the package.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 320g
Dimensions = 165 x 57 x 32 mm
Battery life = 100 minutes talk time, 20 hours standby

 


Sony_CM_R111

Sony CM-R111

Another interesting design by Sony, the CM-R111 achieved further levels of miniaturisation. Released in 1993 it was distinct by virtue of having a flip down stick microphone which Sony claimed provided a comfortable distance between ear and mouth enabling a reduction in size, making the phone convenient to carry. Interestingly, it had no display but used a sequence of audible beeps and three LEDs to indicate the phone's status. It included a last number re-dial function and speed dialling for up to 9 numbers stored in memory. A simple call timer could also be invoked in which a beep would sound every minute during a call.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 190g
Dimensions = 64.2 x 85.5 x 24.4 mm
Battery life = 1 hour talk time, 14 hours standby

   
Technophone_BC901_softpack

Technophone 901Softpack

Technophone was a UK mobile phone manufacturer that was established in 1984 (see the Technophone PC105T entry). In October 1989, Mobile Phone News announced that Technophone had opened a new manufacturing facility in Hong Kong. Branded as Technophone Manufacturing (Hong Kong) Ltd they specialised in producing mobile handsets for AMPS mobile phone networks. The Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) was developed by Bell Laboratories in 1983 and was the primary analogue mobile phone network used in North America.

The Technophone 901 Softpack was manufactured in the Hong Kong factory and released into the USA market in 1993. In addition to the standard phone functions, it provided an address book that could store 99 telephone numbers and associated names. Advanced functions were provided via four menus that could be accessed through the dedicated MU function key. The general menu provided functions such as alphanumeric name searching within the address book, choosing language options and invoking the hands free mode. The volume menu allowed control over the ringer level and audible tone produced when pressing keys. The timer menu gave access to call timers and combined air time meters. Finally, the security menu allowed control over call restrictions and locking access to the address book memory.

Analogue AMPS

Weight = 2100g (softpack unit)
Dimensions = 250 x 175 x 100 mm
Battery life = unknown

 


OKI_CDL_900E

OKI CDL 900E

OKI Electric Industry is a Japanese electronics company that was formed by Mr Kibataro Oki in 1881. It entered the mobile phone marketplace in 1975 when it started to develop car telephones in partnership with Bell Labs of the USA. The OKI CDL900E mobile was released in 1993 and retailed for £141 on the Vodafone network.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 370g
Dimensions = 140 (165 with aerial) x 55 x 30mm
Battery life = unknown

 


Peoples_Phone_logo

Peoples_Phone_Cleartone_CTN_7000

 

The Peoples Phone Cleartone CTN 7000

The Peoples Phone was formed in 1988 and became the UK's largest independent mobile service provider. Their business model involved buying up large volumes of talk time from the main mobile service providers (those with networks) and then re-selling this to their own customers in more attractive packages. They introduced a call quota system in which customers agreed to limit their call charges each month. When you reached your monthly limit then outgoing calls were blocked until the next monthly billing period began. During this time incoming calls could still be received. Customers could extend their call quota for an extra fee if required. Customers were also not charged for unconnected calls or for calls answered by a Vodafone answering service or for calls lasting less than four seconds.

On 19th November 1996 Vodafone bought Peoples Phone for £77m. This was against competition from Cellnet and Orange however, 94% of Peoples Phone customers were already using the Vodafone network.

The Peoples Phone Cleartone CTN 7000 became available to customers in 1993. It certainly stood out from the crowd, being available in a range of lurid colours including bright green (shown here), yellow and pink. You could, of course always play safe and opt for black if you preferred. Retailing at £99 on the Peoples Phone it was a basic featured phone and regarded as somewhat heavy and clumsy compared to other models of the period.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 340g
Dimensions = 170 x 55 x30 mm
Battery life = 100 minutes talk time, 16 hours standby

 


Mitsubishi_MT_7

Mitsubishi MT-7

The Mitsubishi Group is a Japanese group of companies that can trace its history back to 1870 when it specialised in shipping. An emphasis on technological development resulted in it entering the telecommunications arena in the 1960s. The Mitsubishi MT-7 mobile phone was introduced in 1993. In addition to the normal phone functions it had an address book that could store up to 99 telephone numbers and associated names with speed dial access and an Alpha scan function for searching the entries by name. It provided PIN code security, a clock with alarm function and a range of call timers. It was approved for connection to any TACS analogue network such as those provided by Cellnet and Vodafone. The MT-7 earned Mitsubishi three Cellnet Caesar Awards. These were the Winner's Trophy in the Call Security section and Awards of Merit in both the Features Innovation and Clarity of User Documentation sections.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 225g
Dimensions = 155 x 55 x 20 mm
Battery life = 50 minutes talk time, 8 hours standby

 


AA_call_safe_bag_phone

AA Callsafe Bag Phone

The AA Callsafe Bag Phone was provided by the Automobile Association with connection to the Vodafone network. It was intended purely as an emergency phone to carry with you in the car. It provided two dialling buttons – 1 which was pressed three times to connect to the AA and – 9 which was pressed three times to connect you to the emergency services. A 1994 price list quotes a selling price of £149.99 with a £25 connection charge and an optional £60 annual insurance premium against loss, theft or damage.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 3.5 kg
Dimensions = 265 x 120 x 180 mm
Battery life = 1 hour talk time, standby time unknown

 


Panasonic_EBJ_1114

Panasonic EBJ-1114

Shown here is a Panasonic EBJ-1114 transportable mobile phone. The battery and phone are moulded into a relatively slim line unit which allows is to slip easily into its carry bag which comes complete with shoulder strap.

Unfortunately very little is known about this particular model but it is assumed to date from the early 1990s.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 3.1kg
Dimensions = 215 x 170 x 70 mm (aerial = 170 mm)
Battery life = unknown

 


NEC_11A_Transportable

NEC 11A Transportable

Shown here is an example of the NEC 11A Transportable mobile (TR5 E1320 11A) produced by NEC Technologies (UK) Ltd.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile but it is assumed to date from the early 1990s.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 3.4kg
Dimensions = 265 x 180 x 85 mm (aerial = 240 mm)
Battery life = unknown

   
Motorola_Personal_Hand_Portable_Phone

Motorola Personal Hand Portable Phone

The Motorola Personal Hand Portable Phone provided basic features and the ability to store 10 telephone numbers. Without a screen, signal strength and battery power were indicated by a series of audible bleeps. It was powered by six AA batteries. Within the UK it was marketed by the Automobile Association being offered with Vodafone network access. A pricelist from 1994 quotes a contract cost of £69.99 with a connection fee of £30.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 300g
Dimensions = 165 x 60 x 40
Battery life = 150 minutes talk time, 40 hours standby

   
Motorola_888

Motorola 888

In the USA the Motorola 888 was known as the Ultra Classic II and was the last of these brick phone designs to emerge from the Motorola stable. It was released in 1994 and has exactly the same keypad layout as the Motorola 8900X . It is therefore assumed that the same functions are provided.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 475g
Dimensions = 200 (270 including the aerial) x 40 x 60 mm
Battery life =1 hour talk time, 13 hours standby

   
BT_Diamond_II_in_charging_cradle

BT Diamond II

The BT Diamond II was released in 1994 and is in fact a rebranded Motorola phone. It is of a flip phone design and is shown here located within its charging cradle. In addition to the normal phone functions it provided automatic redial, a recent number memory that stored the last 10 dialled numbers, an address book that could store up to 99 telephone numbers and associated names, audible call timers and access to network features such as the answer phone and call back services.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 240g
Dimensions = 145 x 60 x 27 mm
Battery life = 45 minutes talk time, 7 hours standby

   
NovATel_TM2_with_manual

NovAtel TM2

NovAtel Communications UK Ltd released the TM2 hand portable telephone in 1994. An interesting feature of the TM2 was its rotating aerial attached to the left hand side of the phone.

Its liquid crystal display could display two lines of 12 characters with additional icons above and below to indicate signal strength, battery level and phone status. The address book could store 69 telephone numbers and associated names with quick dial access for memory locations 1 to 10. Additional features included a battery alarm, microphone mute, battery save function and a call timer.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 272g
Dimensions = 148 (255 including the aerial) x 55 x 30mm
Battery life = 1.25 hours talk time, 13.5 hours standby

   
Motorola 7600X

Motorola 7600X

The Motorola 7600X transportable became available in 1994 and offered a lighter and more practical design than its much heavier Motorola 4500X and 4800X predecessors.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 1.5kg with no battery
Dimensions = 245 x 170 x 75 mm
Battery life = unknown

   
Motorola_flip_phone_2

Motorola FlipPhone 2

The Motorola Flip Phone 2 was released in 1994 and retailed for £225 with a contract of £17 per month. As its name suggests, it followed on from the Motorola MicroTAC and offered a flip design where a moveable plate was opened to reveal the keypad. It included a telephone number store that could record up to 10 telephone numbers, automatic redial, signal strength meter, and a one minute audible timer that emitted a warning tone 10 seconds before the end of each minute of a call. The example shown here is branded with the BT logo on the outside of the flip plate.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 190g with no battery
Dimensions = 160 x 60 x 30 mm
Battery life = unknown

   
Nokia_609

Nokia 609

The Nokia 609 (firmware code NHX-2ND) was released in 1995.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about the features or performance of this mobile.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 191g
Dimensions = 187 x 55 x 27 mm
Battery life = unknown

   
Nokia_232

Nokia 232

The Nokia 232 (firmware code THX-41) was released in 1995 being promoted as both a compact and light mobile phone. It provided one-touch keys for quick dialling, adjustable ring volume, data and fax transmission. The phone was also featured in the 1995 American comedy film Clueless.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 265g
Dimensions =147 x 54 x 23
Battery life = 49 minutes talk time, 11 hours standby

   
Mitsubishi_MT_9

Mitsubishi MT-9

The Mitsubishi MT-9 became available in 1995. It was an entry level mobile with an address book that could store 99 alpha-numeric entries with easy scrolling, editing and speed dialling. In addition the display included a battery level meter and talk time indicator.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 260g
Dimensions = 155 x 56 x 30 mm
Battery life = unknown

   
NEC_P800_or_BT_Jade_II

NEC P800 / BT Jade II

The NEC P800 was released in the UK in 1995. The two examples shown here carry the branding of BT and are identified as the Jade II model (firmware code MP5B2F1-1A).

The BT Jade II hand portable is a rebadged version of the NEC P800 made available for the Cellnet network in 1996. It had a 40 character, 4 line LCD display that also included a signal strength and battery charge meter. The address book could store up to 99 telephone numbers and associated names with the last 20 dialled numbers being stored with a time stamp. Calls could be answered by pressing any button, there was an auto-power off feature and the mobile had a built in clock and calendar function together with call timers.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 230g
Dimensions = 160 x 50 x 30 mm
Battery life = 100 minutes talk time, 27 hours standby

   

Peoples_Phone_logo

Peoples_phone_pp800_with_user_manual

Peoples Phone PP800

Another example of a mobile for use on the Peoples Phone (see Peoples Phone Cleartone CTN 7000) was the PP800 released in 1996. It is of a long thin rectangular design with telescopic aerial. The screen displayed 2 lines of 8 characters, a battery charge icon and a signal strength indicator. In addition to the standard 12 key keypad, it provided 9 function keys. These were OK/MENU for accessing the secondary features, RECALL/STORE for managing the address book, ALPHA for entering characters instead of numbers, MUTE for switching the microphone off, CLR for deleting the last character typed, SND for dialling a call, END for terminating a call and two up/down arrow keys for scrolling through menus. The address book could store up to 99 telephone numbers with associated names with full numeric or character search capability and speed dial access. In addition it provided a range of timers for monitoring the duration of calls.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 200g
Dimensions = 160 x 45 x 22 mm
Battery life = 1.5 hours talk time, 18 hours standby

   
Motorola_StarTAC_3000

Motorola StarTAC 3000

Motorola further revolutionised the design of the mobile phone with the launch of the world's first clamshell model, the Motorola StarTAC, which was launched in the USA on 3rd January 1996 for use on the analogue AMPS networks. Unlike its predecessors, such as the Motorola MicroTAC, a clamshell design folds completely in half. Marketed as a ‘ready to wear accessory', at the time of its launch, the StarTAC was the world’s smallest and lightest mobile. However, with a price tag of around $1,500, it was more expensive than the equivalent weight of pure gold!

Despite its revolutionary design, the StarTAC was in fact a basic featured phone. The examples shown here are a Motorola StarTAC 3000 which was the first model released in the range. You can clearly see how, on the left, the phone folds completely in half and then, on the right, opens up to make and receive calls. The screen was a 10 digit red LED display with integral green battery charge and signal strength indicators. The phone book could store only 20 telephone numbers but did offer a quick or Turbo dial access function for the first 9 entries. It also included a range of call timers including a one minute audible reminder and allowed you to customise the phone with features such as open to answer and a choice of nine preloaded ringer styles.

Analogue AMPS

Weight = 105g
Dimensions = 95 x 52 x 25 mm (closed)
Battery life = 1.8 hours talk time, 22 hours standby

   
Nokia_Ringo

Nokia RinGo

The Nokia RinGo became available in 1997 being one of the last mobiles designed for the first generation analogue networks. It incorporated the Navi-Key menu navigation system that had first been introduced into the Nokia 3110 GSM mobile (see separate section on our GSM mobile phone collection). This gave a single key access to all phone menus and functions. The integrated battery with its Battery Save function gave it one of the best standby times of any ETACS mobile. Designed with simplicity in mind, the Nokia RinGo offered only a basic set of features including ringer volume control, a choice of 3 ring tones, a RinGo button that gave access to a 10th address book memory location and the provision of caller line identification. Customers had a choice of handset colours including green, grey, yellow and red.

Analogue ETACS

Weight = 230g
Dimensions = 150 x 55 x 30 mm
Battery life = 4 hours talk time, 120 hours standby

   

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