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Remember Cell Phone Antennas? Find Out Where They Went

By Yazmin Gary - Thursday, January 31, 2013

One look at the cell phone antenna of early mobile phones will show the leaps that have occurred in their design. Today there is hardly any indication that mobile phones still use antennas, but they do. Gone is the prominent walkie-talkie type antenna that was standard on the large bulky phones of the mid-1990s.

The First Cell Phones

Mobile Phone

Originally, these devices had long antennas, with many having a similar look to those used on cordless phones today. As the designs changed, the antennas were shortened and the overall style of these products became much more attractive. By 1996 to 1997, for most phones, the internal antennas replaced the external type to make the mobile phone not only better looking, but also smaller and easier to carry. By this time, technology was changing rapidly and competition meant that better cell phones with sleeker designs were becoming the norm.

Further advances in technology led to mobile phones with attractive features such as color screens and flip cover designs. Some of the newer model cell phones came with shorter external antennas as a means of providing quality reception. By 2010, the external antenna disappeared again as more powerful internal antennas were developed. The leaps in technology meant that these phones had even more features and were smaller, sleeker, lighter and with greater storage capacity.

Cell Phone Booster Antennas

Booster Antennas
Image via

Apart from those antennas that are built into the phone, it is possible to buy cell phone antennas as accessories. These types of antennas are ideal for those who need to boost the signal in areas where cell phone reception is poor. These are also ideal for people who like to go on camping trips in remote areas. Choosing the best external antenna in these cases depends on the type of instrument and the network being used. Someone with a cell phone that uses GSM would have to buy an external antenna that uses the same technology.

These cellphone booster antennas can also work in motor vehicles, making it possible to prevent dropped calls even when driving through known black spots. These boosters work by providing an antenna that is within line of sight of cell towers, which makes it easier to pick up signals. When it comes to buying one of these antenna boosters, it is always best to buy from a company with a reputation of selling quality products.

The Modern Day Cell Phone Antenna

My Touch Mobile
Image via T-Mobile

The three main types of wireless telephone technology in use today are GSM, CMDA and TDMA. The touch screen LG cell phone is one of the newer devices with no visible antenna, although the powerful internal one works even better than the external types used in the past.

RIP Antennas
Image via Aricent Connect

While the modern day antenna is not visible, it is still important to buy phones that are known to provide a good reception. If the antenna is of poor quality, there will be lots of dropped calls and the overall reception and quality of telephone calls will also be affected.

About The Author

Yazmin Gary is a freelance writer. On her free time she enjoys live music and working out. She loves all things tech! Connect with her on Twitter @yazzywrites.

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