Far Out Video: Hear What Bell (AT&T) Customers Had To Say After Using First Public Cell Network


It’s great to know your roots and as a wise man once said, if you don’t know where you came from, how will you know where you’re going? And if you thought guys like Andy Rubin or Steve Jobs were pioneers of their time — check out these guys from AT&T’s early days who had no idea what they were onto. But who could blame ’em. There’s no way they could have predicted that cellphones would soon shape an entire generation thanks to SMS, picture messaging, applications —  heck, even the internet — and that all of that would be so easily accessible (and mandatory) from these tiny little computers that fit inside our skinny jeans.

In the video from 1979, you’ll see what was essentially closed beta Bell was using to test their new cellular network where hundreds of their customers could use a carphone at the same time. And this was a huge deal given in New York, only 12 people could be making a call. Just about every 70’s fashion cliche makes the cut — everything from ginormous eye wear, to sleazy mustaches and cheesy open collard suits. I can only wonder what our kids will say about us. You know, while riding their touchscreen hoverboards to school…

[Via ReadWriteWeb]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Wow

    1. AMPS, those were the days….

      1. Hah, that can’t possibly be you. :-p

        1. Thank you for taking the time to write me.

          A representative from my office will be contacting you.

          edit: I’m going to have to fix this somehow.

          1. Hah, well I don’t believe it but I’ll be very amused if I’m wrong. :)

          2. Thank you for taking the time to write me.

            A representative from my office will be contacting you.

    2. Where is my fiber?


  3. I want one.

  4. Haha best video ever posted on this site

  5. …and they probably had less dropped calls back then than att does now

  6. what no one had a wreck?? 

    1. No, this was back when people actually knew how to drive, unlike today.

      1. That and the fact the cars were slower and heavier… so a wreck today was a ding back then.

  7. When you had a good signal, Analog cell calls were far better than
    todays horribly compressed digital calls.  Frankly the early digital
    calls were much better too.  Today’s call quality sucks

  8. Wow. That was before Al Gore invented the internet.

  9. Is it quad-core?

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