Celegbeh Talk: The Power of the Cell Phone

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2002
As mankind is believed to have evolved in dynamic ways, so has the mobile phone.

Our connections, our financial information, our social media, our memories.   The cell phone, because of the convenience it provides and because of our insatiable need for person-to-person communication, has become an integral part of our daily lives. 

Mobile phone technology, fast networks and the internet, have enabled populations to not only communicate across continents via sms, voice, and social media, but have allowed one device, the Cellphone, to provide us with the capability to manage every single facet of life.   

The cellphone has changed the way we work, learn, and socialize.  It has even changed the in which our brain works.  Instead of remembering information, said recent research from Greenbot, we now remember where to find the information.  GPS tracking embedded within the cellphone can keep us safer, various apps can track our health, habits, and interactions with the internet and the people in our lives. 

Cellphones, according to Ericsson, have also become a part of popular culture where the cell phone is talked about in musical lyrics, seen in movies, discussed in the media.    Before the cell phone landline telephones were the order of the day for the privileged few.  Landline phones tethered callers to specific locations like a home or office.   If a caller did not answer the phone, voicemail would kick-In and a message could be left for future listening.  

Today, with a cellphone, callers now actually expect to hear the voice of person they’re calling and when that doesn’t happen, the question is, “Why aren’t they answering their phone?” not, “l’ll leave a voice message.”

Users now opt for leaving a text message (SMS) so that the Intended recipient of the message can read the message Immediately, no matter their location or current engagement.   The cell phone has also changed the nature of communication.  Now, even the most mundane messages have become urgent.   Instant.

“Quite simply,” said Lonestar Cell MTN Chief Information Officer Elias Chembe, “the Mobile phone powers our lives.  Because of this, everyone deserves a modern connected life.”

Lonestar Cell MTN in 2001, brought the Cellphone and the requisite network technology to Liberia for mobility, affordability and ease of person-to-person communication.

Abraham Phillip, 24, a Special Assistant at a local company, said the smart phone “means everything to me. If I didn’t have it, it’s just like someone died.  It’s like my best friend.”

According to the latest statistics, five billion people globally own a cellphone, half of which are smartphone users.  That’s 60 percent of the global population.   However, according to the tech-job and research platform, Leftronic, 2018 smartphone ownership statistics show that there are still a lot of people in developing countries that do not have access to a smartphone or any other mobile communication device leaving them disconnected from the world.

How did the cellphone become so important and powerful?

U-Switch Mobiles states that Motorola, on 3 April 1973, was first company to mass produce the first handheld mobile phone.  Prior to that, cellphones were primarily walkie-talkies, exclusive to certain parts of the workforce or for people who could afford one.  With cellphones becoming a mainstay in the market, these early mobile phones, often referred to as 0G mobile phones, or Zero Generation mobile phones, allowed only voice to voice communications.  

“The reason why the cell phone has become such a “lifeline” is because of the development of mobile technology and the Internet,” said Bhim Singh, a Senior Information Technology Trainer at Bluecrest University in Sinkor. 

“The second generation (2G) of internet speeds enabled users’ access to small amounts of data to surf the net, upload pictures, and talk on the phone.” 

As population movements and the volume of people using the mobile phone increased, so did the demand for networks that could meet consumer demand for more and more data, increased traffic and expanded network coverage.   Mobile technology had to be upgraded to third and fourth generation networks.

“Today with (4G) networks, there is now an exchange of audio and video data,” said Mr. Singh.  This means cellphone users can not only talk but share videos of themselves and the places they visit, the things they do almost instantaneously.

Along with this demand for network capacity, came the demand for how the cellphone could make life more convenient.  Applications or Apps were created to manage time, contacts, health, entertainment, as well as productivity in work, education, finance and more.  With the diversity of Apps that effect all aspects of life, the cell phone became a one-stop-life-shop.

 “Users downloaded around 178 billion apps in 2017,” said Statista, the online business platform.   Statista also reported that future smartphone usage statistics suggest that people will download 258 billion apps in 2022 alone. 

What’s more, mobile phone users spend 86% of their time on Mobile apps as compared to 14% of time on mobile app websites.    These apps enable users to personalize their cellphone with apps that meet their Individual needs.  Users can send messages without email, take photos and videos and share them easily, get the news of their choice, surf the net, engage with social media monitor their health and more.   The power of the cellphone Is Its portability, the downloadable apps, mobile technology and the networks that allow all of us to be and live a modern connected life.

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