This Week in IT History: Call Me

What do horses, satellites and texting have in common? They've all been deployed to get us closer together through communication. And this week was a pivotal one in telecommunication history. Call the first event old school telecomm: In 1860, the Pony Express was established and the first messages taken on horseback started in San Francisco, with the communication endpoint being St. Louis.

We have to skip all the way to 1965, when the U.S. launched Intelsat 1 into orbit. And that made wireless communication possible and less expensive than laying down more trans-Atlantic cable. While Intelsat was mainly used for transmitting telephone and T.V. signals between Europe and North America, the satellites launched thereafter (including the latter Intelsat models) would have wider range, and be instrumental in our third event: transmitting the signals for the first mobile phone call made by researchers on April 3, 1973. Isn't it kind of weird that those mobile phones are now used mostly for texting?

Posted by Michael Domingo on 04/03/2011 at 11:59 AM


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