Östen Mäkitalo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Östen Mäkitalo
Born (1938-08-27)27 August 1938
Koutojärvi, Övertorneå Municipality, Sweden
Died 16 June 2011(2011-06-16) (aged 72)
Nationality Swedish
Education Royal Institute of Technology
Occupation Engineer
Engineering career
Projects Telecommunication
Significant design GSM
Awards H. M. The King's Medal

Östen Mäkitalo (27 August 1938 – 16 June 2011) was a Swedish electrical engineer. He is considered to be the father of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system and many times the father of cellular phone.[1][2][3][4]

Education and occupation[edit]

Mäkitalo was born in Koutojärvi, Sweden, and obtained a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), while studying for a time he employed as a training assistant and lecturer at the Department of Physics at KTH. He started his professional career in 1961 at Televerket (now merged with TeliaSonera), the Swedish Telecommunications Administration, where he developed the first expansion compressor for high-quality sound. In the early 1970s, he was accepted as a PhD student at KTH, with Tele Transmission theory as a major and a minor in mathematics. He was a visiting professor at KTH since 2005.[5] He was the elected member of Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Research and inventions[edit]

Mäkitalo assisted the development of first ever first generation cellular system and was also a key figure in the development of GSM.[6] Mäkitalo was the part of the group that developed the world's first countrywide paging system with the possibility of sending messages. In addition, he has partaken in the development of the technology for digital TV sound and digital terrestrial TV.[7] Mäkitalo held about 20 patents, including one on a cellular system with roaming and handover from 1971[8] (the year after Bell labs applied for patent on a similar system).[9] He was an honorary doctor at Chalmers University of Technology.

Awards and honors[edit]

Mäkitalo won numerous awards and honors, some of them were:

  • 1987 - IVA's gold medal for the development of mobile phone technology.[10]
  • 1991 - Received honorary doctorate at Chalmers University of Technology.[11]
  • 1994 - KTH Grand Prize by The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) for Pioneering Research in the Field of Analogue and Digital Radio Technique.[12]
  • 2001 - H. M. The King's Medal from the King of Sweden for important contributions in the field of mobile telephone.[13]


  1. ^ Metcalfe, J. Stanley & Cantner, Uwe (2003). Change, transformation, and development. New York, U.S.A.: Physica-Verlag HD. p. 458. ISBN 3-7908-1545-4.
  2. ^ "Facts about the Mobile" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  3. ^ "Mobile/1980-90". Tekniskamuseet.se. Archived from the original on 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  4. ^ Aspers, Patrik (2006). Markets in fashion: a phenomenological approach. Great Britain: Routledge. pp. 139–140. ISBN 0-415-34619-3.
  5. ^ Sweden (2008-03-13). "KTH | Gästprofessor Östen Mäkitalo vann Stora Hederspriset på Årets Kompetensgala" (in Swedish). SE-AB: Kth.se. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  6. ^ Mazar, Haim (2009). An Analysis of Regulatory Frameworks for Wireless Communications, Societal Concerns and Risk. U.S.A.: UMI Dissertation Publishing. p. 329. ISBN 1-59942-710-9.
  7. ^ "Axis Ab Further Strengthens Concentration On Mobility With Dr Osten Makitalo On the Board of Directors". Business Wire. 2000.
  8. ^ Swedish Patent N:o 357481 Mobile radio system, filed 1971, approved 1973.
  9. ^ US Patent 3,663,762: Mobile communication system, filed 1970, approved 1972
  10. ^ "Kungl. Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien (IVA) - ett nätverk med inriktning på teknik och ekonomi - IVA". Iva.se. 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  11. ^ "Hedersdoktorer". Chalmers.se. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  12. ^ Sweden (2010-12-10). "KTH | Samtliga pristagare" (in Swedish). SE-AB: Kth.se. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  13. ^ "Medaljförläningar 2001-01-28 - Sveriges Kungahus". Royalcourt.se. 2001-01-28. Retrieved 2011-06-18.

External links[edit]