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Mobile phones: Hot new industry (Fortune, 1984)

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Posted by tranced
This is a time travel article. So this is not actual news - tranced

By Colin Leinster

FORTUNE -- The hottest new U.S. industry right now is cellular telephony -- phones in cars. In early July cellular telephone systems were operating in eight major U.S. metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington-Baltimore, and Chicago, and they are being switched on at the rate of one a week in other cities. By 1990 the handful of subscribers chatting away today on the expressways in those eight cities will have grown to nearly a million -- even on the unlikely assumption that costs of subscribing will not have dropped from lofty introductory levels. But that scarcely measures the potential for a cellular explosion.

Cellular telephones will be available in most of the top 30 metropolitan areas in the U.S. by the end of the year. Another 60 markets should be hooked up in the ensuing decade. According to some estimates, cellular will be a $12-billion-a-year industry ten years from now-$4 billion in revenues from the calls that are made, $4 billion from sales of equipment to cellular telephone users, and $4 billion for antennas, computers, buildings, and other elements of the receiving and transmitting systems.

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