It certainly seemed like a logical step to go from a wired telephone to a wireless, portable phone, but what drove that push?
Like much of our technology, wireless phones stemmed from a military tool: the two-way radio. After World War II, Bell Systems produced the first “portable” wireless telephone, which weighed a whopping 80 lbs and required a car.
You thought your cell fees were bad? Bell’s “Mobile Telephone Service” cost $30/mo and $.30-.40 for a single local call. That’s ~$400/mo and ~$4 per call in today’s money. Ouch.
You can read more about the first cell call: http://www.corp.att.com/attlabs/reputation/timeline/46mobile.html