- Cellular telephone, sometimes called mobile telephone, is a type of short-wave analog or digital telecommunication in which a subscriber has a wireless connection from a mobile telephone to a relatively nearby transmitter. The transmitter's span of coverage is called a cell. Generally, cellular telephone service is available in urban areas and along major highways. As the cellular telephone user moves from one cell or area of coverage to another, the telephone is effectively passed on to the local cell transmitter.
A cellular telephone is not to be confused with a cordless telephone (which is simply a phone with a very short wireless connection to a local phone outlet).
The first cellular telephone for commercial use was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1983. The phone, a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, weighed 2 pounds, offered just a half-hour of talk time for every recharging and sold for $3,995