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It is based on the initial electromagnetic radiation spectrum allocation for cellular service by the FCC in 1970 and first introduced by AT&T in 1983.
In the 1990s AMPS systems in large metropolitan areas reached their capacity limits that could not be overcome by further cell-splitting. As a result, digital systems were deployed to provide higher capacity.
- The Broadband Availability Gap, OBI Technical Paper No 1, Glossary, at 130 (full-text).