Telecommunications is a branch of technology concerned with the transmission of information over a distance, where the transmitter sends the information to a receiver. We present a short history of telecommunications and focus on the development of mobile phone technology. We discuss the development of the AXE system by Ericsson, and this was the first fully automated digital switching system. We discuss the concept of a cellular system, which was introduced by Bell Labs, as well as the introduction of the first mobile phone, the DynaTAC, by Motorola. We discuss the Iridium system, which was launched in late 1998 to provide worldwide wireless coverage to its customers, where the coverage included the oceans, airways and polar regions. The concept of global coverage as provided by Iridium was potentially very useful, but, in many ways, Iridium was an engineering triumph over common sense, and over $5 billion was spent in building an infrastructure of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide global coverage.