Nov 16, 2010

Century of violence and mobile phone part 6

Second generation: Digital networks:
Personal Handy-phone System mobiles and modems used in Japan around 1997–2003 
In the 1990s, the 'second generation' (2G) mobile phone systems emerged, primarily using the GSM standard. These 2G phone systems differed from the previous generation in their use of digital transmission instead of analog transmission, and also by the introduction of advanced and fast phone-to-network signaling. The rise in mobile phone usage as a result of 2G was explosive and this era also saw the advent of prepaid mobile phones

In 1991 the first GSM network (Radiolinja) launched in Finland. In general the frequencies used by 2G systems in Europe were higher than those in America, though with some overlap. For example, the 900 MHz frequency range was used for both 1G and 2G systems in Europe, so the 1G systems were rapidly closed down to make space for the 2G systems. In America the IS-54 standard was deployed in the same band as AMPS and displaced some of the existing analog channels.
Coinciding with the introduction of 2G systems was a trend away from the larger "brick" phones toward tiny 100–200g hand-held devices. This change was possible not only through technological improvements such as more advanced batteries and more energy-efficient electronics, but also related to the higher density of cellular sites needed because of increasing usage. The latter meant that the average distance transmission from phone to handset shortened. Both factors led to increased battery life for customers whilst on the move.

The second generation introduced a new variant of communication called SMS or text messaging. It was initially available only on GSM networks but spread eventually on all digital networks. The first machine-generated SMS message was sent in the UK on 3 December 1992 followed in 1993 by the first person-to-person SMS sent in Finland. The advent of prepaid services in the late 1990s soon made SMS the communication method of choice amongst the young, a trend which spread across all ages.
2G also introduced the ability to access media content on mobile phones. In 1998 the first downloadable content sold to mobile phones was the ring tone, launched by Finland's Radiolinja (now Elisa). Advertising on the mobile phone first appeared in Finland when a free daily SMS news headline service was launched in 2000, sponsored by advertising.
Mobile payments were trialed in 1998 in Finland and Sweden where a mobile phone was used to pay for a Coca Cola vending machine and car parking. Commercial launches followed in 1999 in Norway. The first commercial payment system to mimic banks and credit cards was launched in the Philippines in 1999 simultaneously by mobile operators Globe and Smart.
The first full internet service on mobile phones was introduced by NTT DoCoMo in Japan in 1999.

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