How the cell phone changed lives… by its inventor Martin Cooper

Martin Cooper is an American Engineer who is credited with inventing the first handheld cellular mobile phone back in 1973 while working at Motorola. In addition to being the “father of the cell phone”, Cooper is also the first person in history to make a call from a mobile phone in public.

What follows is an extract from Chapter 13 of his new book Cutting the Cord titled “How the Cell Phone Changes Lives” which is now available at bookstores as well as online.

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In 2001, roughly 45 percent of the US population had a cell phone. Ownership had doubled in the previous four years and quadrupled over the prior six. On September 11 of that year, terrorists hijacked airplanes and launched attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. On at least one of the hijacked planes, passengers used cell phones to communicate with family members on the ground. In many locations, however, cell sites had not yet been installed or existing sites didn’t have the capacity to carry the sudden increase in cellular telephone calls. Many first responders and government officials could not be reached, even on the wired network.