Episode 47: Technology Bytes. . .Cellular Service

This is Technology Bytes, episode 47 for January 28th, 2024.

Technology Bytes is a microcast where I share brief bytes on interesting technology.

My name is Joel.


And here we go.

Today on Technology Bytes, we’re reaching back into the annals of time.

Is that the right way to say that?

We’re talking about technology that has been around for really not that long, but then again seems like it’s been around forever.

And has it changed much?

Well, you’ll have to decide, but I think it has changed a lot.

And what is that I’m talking about?

It is cellular service.

Cellular service is an interesting technology, and wow, has it changed over time and just the way it’s presented to the customers who would be interested in it, the tools that we use to access it, the hardware, the software, all these things that have evolved over the time that cellular service came into being.

I will have to admit that I didn’t really do much research on this, so I’m really just talking off the top of my head.

But as far as when it was founded, how it was founded, what it looked like, those are things that I really didn’t look up.

But it is a technology that we use every day.

Sorry about that, a little bit late on my podcast today.

And I think back of times when I thought of cellular service, and it was like out of my range.

And was it the service that was out of my range or the hardware that was out of my price range?

And it might have been a little bit of both.

It was an expensive service.

It wasn’t necessarily all that useful.

I remember my first cell phone was actually mounted in my truck, and that was the only time you could use it was when you were in your vehicle.

And I think that’s why they called it mobile service at the beginning, because it was always in a mobile environment.

I guess it is still today, but it had all kinds of restrictions.

We had minute restrictions in that you could only use it for so long.

And what does that look like today?

It’s really now unlimited times, unlimited texts.

There used to be texting limitations, and there used to be this roaming fee if you went too far away from any of your home towers, as it were.

And all of those things have just faded into the background.

You really only hear about minutes restriction when you talk about international usage, and that’s also a roaming thing that gets talked about.

And the limitations now that they talk about is how much data you’re using, not so much how many minutes you spent.

Because in the beginning, the cell service was really only about communication.

At the very beginning, it was only voice communication.

And then texting came along, and they actually charged you for that.

Every text had some charge that came with it.

Coverage was often a problem, and if you weren’t in the exact right place, you actually might not have service at all.

And while that still might exist a little bit from the coverage area, in fact, service providers still use maps to show you how good their coverage is, it really has become less and less of a topic.

And you think about how it’s progressed, the speed that you get now on your phones, because mostly we’re using data, remember?

Sending pictures, FaceTime calls, video calls for work, whatever it is that you use the cellular service for.

Coverage, speed, time, data, all of those things have just made leaps and bounds from where the service began, and it’s something that we don’t even think about anymore.

In fact, cellular service has become like the sun rising.

You always assume, and some would say no, that it’s going to be there when you need it.

It’s like electricity, when you hit a switch on a wall, you assume a light is coming on.

Or water, when you turn the faucet, you expect there to be water there.

It’s really nice to have this service, especially when it’s needed, and then the ability to communicate, the ability to stay in touch, the ability to enjoy others' stories, to enjoy communication, to enjoy staying in touch with people, all of that is because of the cellular service.

And has it changed?


People today, especially those under the age of 30, don’t understand that.

They were never around when it didn’t exist, and they don’t understand how it changed the world.

So I just thought I would give it its due, and recognize how far it’s come, recognize its usefulness, and hope that it never goes away.

Well, that’s all I have for today.

If you have comments or suggestions, you can send them to technologybytes at merrickfamily.com.

I want to thank you for listening to the Technology Bytes microcast, and I look forward to the next time we are together, taking another bite of technology.

Microsoft Mechanics www.microsoft.com www.microsoft.com

Joel Mearig @technologybytes