OnQ Blog

The birth of mobile [VIDEO]

16. Sept. 2014

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Just over 30 years ago, there were barely enough mobile subscribers in the entire world to fill even a modest-sized stadium. Since then, invention has helped change the world. Today, there are more than 7 billion active mobile devices.

Drawing from data compiled by the World Bank, we charted the spread of mobile connectivity and invention across the globe—from the release of the first mobile phone in 1984 to the present day.

Of all the rapid jumps in mobile connection growth, the most interesting are from the past five years. While U.S. mobile connections grew by 13 percent since 2009, China dwarfed that with 47 percent growth, tallying just over 1.1 billion mobile subscribers in 2012—the latest available data point from the World Bank.

Check out our entire analysis of the video on the Qualcomm Tumblr.

Related News


New exhibit at the U.S. Patent Office and a new web app explore Qualcomm’s patented technology

Developing nations look to the U.S. patent system for inspiration as they seek to kindle home-grown technological innovation and bolster their economies, and now Qualcomm is playing a bigger part of that inspirational story.

 “Countries across the globe view the intellectual property system [here] as a route to economic development,” U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Michelle Lee noted during a discussion of patent policy with me on stage Tuesday at Bloomberg’s annual technology conference in San Francisco. “The United States is the gold standard.”

I couldn’t agree more.

The two-year exhibit in the Hall of Fame, on the ground floor of the USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va., starts with Irwin Jacob’s visionary statement in 1990: “We are here because someday, everyone will have their own phone number.” The exhibit offers visitors a look at the invention process; some key breakthroughs from the 2G, 3G and LTE eras; innovations behind GPS navigation, mobile video, app distribution and usage, and creation of the smartphone itself; a video about what peak data rates enable; and some examples of how we’re making possible the Internet of Things (IoT). The Wireless Technology Family Tree mentioned above is on two touchscreens. It allows visitors to explore 30 of our more important patents and how they touch people’s lives around the world.

There’s also a cartoon that illustrates the standards-development process and the role played by standards-essential patents that you can see by clicking here. Our industry has grown so much and so quickly through each generation of mobile technology thanks to the fair, open and merit-based standards-development process, in which Qualcomm has played a pivotal role. And even more than the 3G and 4G (LTE) standards built so much on Qualcomm’s technology, 5G standards for the IoT era will need to be reliable and secure to ensure the interoperability of systems connecting cars, homes, city and industrial infrastructure and so much more.

15. Jun. 2016