Land Mobile: The early years

Looking at the first few issues of Land Mobile, founding editor Richard Lambley discusses how different the wireless comms industry was back in those days

Twenty-five years? Really, that doesn’t sound so very long. Yet 1993 was in many ways a watershed year in communications, and Land Mobile was born into a telecoms world which was already changing fast.

That year brought the opening of the Single European Market, supported by the new GSM standard as its mobile comms platform for doing business. GSM was conceived to replace various mutually incompatible analogue systems which had proliferated across Europe – and its far-sighted design and advanced features soon brought it huge commercial success, not just on its home turf but around the world.

But as yet it was for voice calls only: GSM packet data, SMS and (yes!) mobile fax were still to come. However, in the UK, 1993 saw the first 1,800MHz GSM system (then known as DCS1800) in the consumer-orientated One2One network from Mercury Communications, though initially this served only the London area. In fixed-line communications, the internet too was in its infancy, the first dial-up modem services having been introduced in the UK during the preceding year.

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