You’re at dinner with a friend, and neither of you can recall the name of the lead actor in a movie you want to see. So, you pull out your phone and punch the information into your search engine. You’re driving through an unfamiliar area to meet up with a colleague, but you can’t remember which turn to make, so you take out your phone and type the address in your maps app. You’re out of town for work, but you still need to say goodnight to your kids, so you take out your phone and video chat with them before bed.
Regardless of the situation, it is undeniable that cell phones have become a necessity for most Americans. They’re used in thousands of ways, millions of times a day, all across the country. The service that makes this possible, however, doesn’t just appear out of thin air.