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In Europe in the early 1990s, a cell phone was a true status symbol; by the mid 1990s, widespread adoption had made owning such a device less than a novelty. What made cell phones so wildly popular was the evolution from analog, first-generation communications to the 2G GSM standard in 1992. With one standard to work from, all of the manufacturers and service providers throughout the European telecoms value chain were able to gain economies of scale, allowing technology, in particular handsets, to be manufactured cheaply and reliably. What this meant was that from the outset customers had an affordable choice of technology from an array of outlets.
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