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Summary:

Today is the 20th birthday of the first GSM phone call, which in many ways was the start of the global wireless revolution. GSM was adopted in 1987 as a standard. More than 4.4 billion people use phones based on GSM today.

Harri Holkeri 1st GSM call

Harri Holkeri, then prime minister of Finland, makes the world’s first GSM call 1 July 1991 in Helsinki, Finland.

This is turning out to be a week of anniversaries. We celebrated four years of iPhone earlier this week. And today is the 20th birthday of the first GSM phone call, which in many ways was the beginning of a new era in telecommunications and start of the global wireless revolution. GSM was adopted in 1987 as the European standard for second generation mobile technology. More than 4.4 billion people use phones based on GSM standard today.

Here is a video to show the first GSM call that was placed on the first GSM network built by Telenokia and Siemens – now Nokia Siemens Networks – for the Finnish operator Radiolinja, now Elisa. Nokia introduced its first digital handheld GSM phone, the Nokia 1011, in 1992.

  1. paulmartin42 Friday, July 1, 2011

    Thanks. I am beginning to appreciate, at OM-last, that its the NETWORK. Zynga want big bucks to join such a party; never mind older behemoths who are also entering my peripheral vision. Today the soap opera that is silicon valley has been extended to far colder climes, though, pace Harri, celebrity is a tag that is unlikely to be being keyed in “näillä main”

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  2. deepak kala Friday, July 1, 2011

    being in the telecom industry it gives u a prospectus of how things have changed ….
    specially like liked the video
    hope such post come often …

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  3. GSM is primitive compared to today’s standards, but it was good for network operators.

    As each new generation of transmission standard comes out, the walled-gardens of the networks starts to crumble.

    The crazy deals the network cartels offer, for “phone calls” and SMS are all walled-garden products. We don’t actually need such products or any services from networks. All we need is for them to deliver to us zeros and ones, and then get out of the way.

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