The Guinness World Records claims that “the Most durable mobile phone number (cellular phone number) belongs to David Contorno, of Lemont, Illinois, who has owned and used the same mobile telephone number since 2 August 1985. His first mobile phone was an Ameritech AC140 and his carrier has been Ameritech Mobile Communications ever since.”
These days, Ameritech Mobile Communications is better known as AT&T. And on October 13, 1983, they set up the first public cellular mobile telephone network in the United States, in Chicago, IL.
As of January 1, 1984, Ameritech Mobile Communications provided landline telephone service to the Great Lakes region of the U.S. Within a few years, several corporate mergers and sell-offs would change the face and ownership of the company. But the cell service remained.
As ubiquitous as hand-held, go-anywhere phones are today, not too long ago they were the thing of movies, movie stars, and high-level government employees. And even then, they weren’t small, and they didn’t do anything other than make phone calls and—in some cases—send very basic text messages.
The telecommunications industry is one of the broadest-reaching industries extant today. Indeed, telecommunications technology reaches beyond the planet itself, to the stars. The vast majority of satellites in orbit around Earth are either directly or indirectly related to the telecom industry, and they are all involved in a telecom function (as they transmit data wirelessly to the Earth). Every satellite we send spinning out into the void sends its data back via telecom. Your cellular phone, your high-speed internet, your digital “cable” are all telecom.