The first patent for wireless communications was issued to Guglielmo Marconi in 1896. It used high-frequency Hertz rays to transmit signals through the air using a Ruhmkorff Coil (Figure 1). The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company was founded in 1900 and achieved its first transatlantic transmission the following year. Signaling the end of an era, the company was recently bought by Swedish telecom giant Ericsson AB. It is but one of several recent high-profile industry consolidations, and all signs indicate that more are on the way.
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