1.1 History 1.1.1 How It All Started
When looking at the history of communications, we find that wireless communications is actually the oldest form – shouts and jungle drums did not require any wires or cables to function. Even the oldest “electromagnetic” (optical) communications are wireless: smoke signals are based on propagation of optical signals along a line-of-sight connection. However, wireless communications as we know it started only with the work of Maxwell and Hertz, who laid the basis for our understanding of the transmission of electromagnetic waves. It was not long after their groundbreaking work that Tesla demonstrated the transmission of information via these waves – in essence, the first wireless communications system. In 1898, Marconi made his well-publicized demonstration of wireless communications from a boat to the Isle of Wight in the English Channel. It is noteworthy that while Tesla was the first to succeed in this important endeavor, Marconi had the better public relations, and is widely cited as the inventor of wireless communications, receiving a Nobel prize in 1909.