Would modern cellphones work during the 1980s?

I know it can't actually happen but hypothetically, if you were somehow transported back to say, 1986, would you be able to use your smartphone? Obviously not for Internet, but for calling? Did we have satellites in space during the 80s?

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  • 6 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    No; as others have said, radio systems in the 80s were analog, including the first generation mobile phones.

    Only analog (now known as "1G", first generation) cellular phones were in use in 1989.

    The GSM / "2G" system was just starting to be built in 1991.

    Satellites were in use.

    The very first was "Sputnik 1", in 1957. It had a radio beacon but no communications relay capability, it was launched for scientific purposes rather than commercial use.

    The first communications satellite was launched in 1960. It was a passive reflector, just allowing radio signals to be "bounced" over the horizon.

    The first active communications satellite, that received and re-transmitted information, was launched in 1962 - Telstar.

    It was used for such as transatlantic telephone and television links

    There were plenty of others by the 1980s!

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  • 6 months ago

    NO, CELLPHONE REQUIRES WORKING WITH WIRELESS REPEATER THAT WAS NOT EXISTED IN YEAR 1980.

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  • Joe
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    A smartphone needs a smartphone network.

    Your modern phone, probably 4G, might be capable of downgrading to use a 3G network. But I doubt that it can downgrade, even for voice calls, to a 1990s network, let alone what was around earlier. (TDMA, analog, maybe?)

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  • 6 months ago

    No, of course they wouldn't. What do you imagine you would connect with? The 1980's was strictly POTS.

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    There were no cell phone towers and very few cell phone companies back in the 80s that can use the technology that we have today. So straightforward answer our cell phones from today simply would not have worked back in the 80s

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  • Lv 7
    6 months ago

    the technology for cellphones (3g, 4g, etc) did not exist before 1990.

    back then, you had to use your own private relay system, or satellite phones, which were tricky to use and huge and bulky (you needed to carry a base station the size of a briefcase around).

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  • 6 months ago

    No, Cellphones were analog then and now they are digital. There was a period of time when both worked but I believe it was the early 2000s.

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  • Greg
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Cell phones are not satellite phones and so they do not use satellites. Different frequencies have been used at different times. Digital phones did not exist until the 1990's so you would need a phone that works on Analog.

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