Wireless Communication

Complex messages could be conveyed through these rudimentary signals. These communication networks were replaced by the telegraph and then by telephones, which was patented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 (JPL, 1995).

In 1895 came the radio technology that advanced rapidly where transmission could be done over larger distances with better quality and cheaper costs. For many years wireless and radio were used to describe the same thing – the radio was the American version of the British wireless (JPL, 1995). Radio technology was initially called ‘wireless technology’ which was further shortened to ‘wireless’ (White, 2003). This technology was applied where regular telephone lines were unreliable and impractical. The next stage was the development of the broadcasting of audio messages simultaneously to multiple locations initially using the dots-and-dashes of the telegraphic code and then the full audio. The receiver was called wireless because there were no wires linking to the transmitting station. As the transmitting station radiated electromagnetic waves, it was called radio. After the invention of the transistor came the development of integrated circuits which paved the way for the miniaturization of electronic systems.

As early as 1860, James Clerk Maxwell predicted the existence of radio waves and in 1886 H D Hertz demonstrated the variations of electric current could be projected into space in the form of radio waves similar to those of light and heat (Bellis, 2006). In 1901 radiotelegraph service was started between five Hawaiian Islands. In 1903 an exchange of greetings was done through this service between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII (Bellis). In 1905 the Russo-Japanese war was reported through the wireless. In 1906 the US Weather Bureau tried notifying the weather conditions through this technology.

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