Wednesday, April 15, 2009

History of the Cell Phone: Donald Linder | Retired Corporate Vice President, Motorola

Centennial Distinguished Alumni Seminar

History of the Cell Phone / Donald Linder (BSEE '65) / Retired Corporate Vice President, Motorola

April 17 2009 / 10 AM / ECpE Building Addition


In 1969, Bell Labs proposed the use of cells to cover metropolitan areas in response to the FCC Docket 18262. Throughout the 1970s, manufacturers like Motorola experimented with new ways to use the new spectrum that was to be made available. One of the Motorola experiments was a hand-held radiotelephone that would work in a cellular system. Those experiments were continued and resulted in hand-held cellular phones for commercial service.


Donald Linder graduated from Iowa State University with an electrical engineering degree in 1965, and began a 36-year career with Motorola. In 1972, Motorola executives asked Linder and his team to create the world’s first portable phone. Linder was the primary designer leading a team of a dozen engineers. Roughly three months after the project’s initiation, the team celebrated their success: the creation of the world’s first portable phone, the DynaTAC Portable.



A/V Now Available At


ShockWave Flash

Summary > Leader of Team that Invented World's First Portable Phone


CNN > July 09 2010

Inventor of cell phone: We knew someday everybody would have one


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