Mobile phones have drastically changed the way we live our lives. Some estimates state that two-thirds of the U.S. population is connected to one another by mobile phone devices. The phenomenon is not exclusive to America; there are now more than 800 million mobile phone subscribers in China alone. These companies are the movers and shakers in the industry.
Motorola - Where It All Began
The first mobile, or cellphone, was invented by Martin Cooper in 1973. At the time, he worked for Motorola, which then became the first mobile phone provider. At the same time, AT&T was also attempting to invent a cellphone, but couldn't win that race. In today's market, Motorola is considered one of the basic phones. The company focused on feature phones as opposed to the more trendy "smart phones," which caused a business slowdown. Only recently has it changed this strategy and is now racing to keep up.
AT&T - The Bell Offspring
AT&T is the second largest wireless telecommunications provider in the United States. (Verizon Wireless is first.) Originally, it was Cingular Wireless, created from a merging of SBC (Southwestern Bell Telephone Company and Bell South, two of the baby Bells). When SBC acquired AT&T, it was branded as the "New AT&T." However, by 2007 it was decided to rebrand Cingular under AT&T. The merger occurred just before the new Apple iPhone was presented to the public. AT&T Mobility sells a variety of wireless services and is now the second largest mobile carrier in the U.S.
Verizon - The Leader of the Pack
Verizon Wireless also can trace its beginnings to Bell - Bell Atlantic Mobile to be exact. In September 1999, two companies, Bell Atlantic Mobile and AirTouch Paging, two U.S. wireless assets merged to create Verizon. As of 2010, Verizon is the leader in the mobile phone arena based on a total of 93.2 million subscribers. Verizon Wireless is one of the last major cellphone providers still using CDMA networks (Code Division Multiple Access); most of the other mobile phone companies have moved on to superior technology.
Sprint - The Product of Countless Mergers
Sprint's origins can be traced back to the late 1800s as the Brown Telephone Company. By adjusting and transforming, it emerged as a utility company and then returned to phone service. In 1996, it made the innovative move to partner with Radio Shack, making it the first mobile phone company to offer products through a retail outlet. Another major move was its acquisition of the NEXTEL Corporation in 2005. At that time Sprint was the #3 provider in the mobile phone industry, and NEXTEL was #5.
The International T-Mobile
Of the five companies featured here, T-Mobile is by far the most international in scope. The headquarters are based in Bonn, Germany, and is present in 10 European countries as well as the U.S. The U.S. arm of T-Mobile (T-Mobile USA) is at this time the fourth-largest wireless carrier, with approximately 34 million customers. T-Mobile is known for using only GSM technology from the outset. This allows subscribers to expand the use of phones around the world due to international roaming arrangements between mobile network operators
For certain entities to rank in the top ratings as mobile phone companies will never happen by accident. Each one must stay on the cutting edge of what customers are demanding, not only in product but in service and support.