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Happy 50th anniversary to first cell phone call

March 30, 2023

Monday, April 3, 2023, marks the 50th anniversary of the first cell phone call. Fifty years ago, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper stood in Midtown Manhattan and placed the first public call from a handheld portable cell phone to the headquarters of Bell Labs in New Jersey.

This would forever change the way people communicate by allowing phone calls from nearly anywhere. Phones and other devices since have become mini-computers with the ability for always-on connectivity through messaging, entertainment, internet access, apps and social media. In fact, most Americans – 82% – are now using a smartphone versus a “regular” phone.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the cell phone, it’s exciting to look back on how far the technology has come,” said Thomas White, director of sales for UScellular. “As the technology evolves over the next 50 years, we will continue to invest in our Tennessee network to ensure our customers can connect to what matters most.”

This year, UScellular also is celebrating its’ 40th anniversary. The company has been a significant leader in the evolution of wireless technology, while also having a front row seat to witness many device enhancements throughout the years and how people use them. Earlier this year, the company introduced the “Let’s Find US” initiative and Phones Down for 5 challenge. The challenge is built on a simple action: take a phone break for 5 days, 5 hours or even just 5 minutes to reset your relationship with technology.

“We want to inspire genuine connection and help people have a better relationship with their devices going forward,” White added.

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About UScellular
UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. Through its After School Access Project, the company has pledged to provide hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet. Additionally, UScellular has price protected all of its plans, promising not to increase prices through at least the end of 2024. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, visit