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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 2:18 pm   #31
G6Tanuki's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wiltshire, UK.
Posts: 8,634
Default Re: My first mobile phone (1992)

My first cellphone was a "BT Steel" first-generation transportable, back around 1984. It was one of the most powerful in terms of RF output - I think it did about five watts, which explains the weight of the necessary lead-acid battery in the breezeblock-sized bit. Even with such high power, coverage outside major cities and away from motorways took quite some time to become good.

Calls cost 50p/minute +VAT!!! but were offsettable against tax as a business-expense.

In the same timeframe I also used a Securicor-supplied private version of the public BT "System 4" radiophones; this used Storno UHF mobiles and rather neat control-boxes/hamdheld microphones with a DTMF keypad. It also had a facility that by calling a particular vehicle and sending a certain tone-sequence the horn would sound repeatedly - very useful for attracting your attention when you were away from your car but not so popular when someone 'pages' you at 01:00!
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