2018 Nominations

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Philip T. Porter

Prior to his work on cellular systems in the early 1970's, Philip Porter worked on conventional radiotelephone systems of the time, and was a co-inventor of the Metroliner radiotelephone system which introduced crude handoff technology in a linear cellular system.  From 1971-1977 he led the group at Bell Labs which developed the control architecture for the first AMPS system.  Subsequently, he worked on advanced cellular technologies at Bell Labs until leaving for BellCore in 1984, where he continued working on wireless system concepts until his retirement in 2000.

His personal contributions included the introduction of "corner-excited" cells with three 120-degree directional antennas.  Based on listening tests, propagation measurements and computer simulations, it was implied that to achieve the desired “90% good-to-excellent” voice quality would require a 12-cell reuse pattern.  Phil Porter’s proposal to use directive antennas at base stations reduced interference enough to allow a 7-cell reuse pattern, significantly improving spectrum efficiency.

Another of his major innovations of  was pre-origination dialing (entering the number, then hitting the Send key), which improved the efficiency of placing cell phone calls, making the dialing operation safer as well as eliminating dialing time on precious voice channels.  While this procedure is used universally today both in cellular systems and on cordless land-line phones, it was a major departure at the time from common practice in telephone networks.  While many engineers contributed innovative technologies during the early days of cellular, the most critical elements were the system design principles which made cellular service viable.  Phil Porter was a major force in these developments, driving access and hand-off processes required for the introduction of cellular systems.

Induction Video for Bell Labs Team of Engel, Frenkiel, and Porter.