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1947: Introduction of the mobile phone

The Story

"Why mobile service?" Bell Telephone's John Hayes asks rhetorically. "Well, I gotta be where you are!" he answers. In this CBC Radio report, two reporters take the new mobile phone, which is about to be introduced to the market, out for a spin. Driving along the streets of Toronto, Bill Beatty's car is outfitted with the required antenna and receiver boxes. Calling from a telephone booth, Byng Whitteker places the call.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC News Roundup
Broadcast Date: Feb. 19, 1947
Guest: John Hayes
Reporter: Bill Beatty, Byng Whitteker
Duration: 4:18
Photo: Bell Canada Archives

Did You know?

• These mobile phones required an operator to complete the call and were not readily available for mass market consumption.

• The mobile phone hit the Canadian market on June 28, 1947. The Globe & Mail was the first subscriber of the service.

• Cellphones entered a wider, less specialized market in 1985. In 1987, there were 100,000 users in Canada. By 2001, that total had jumped to 9.5 million users.



Canada Says Hello: The First Century of the Telephone more