This isn't the history of the phone, it's is the history of the mobile phone as told by Stephen Fry, describing why mobile phones are the way they are (and not what they could have been). So it starts in 1947 with D.H. Ring at the Bell Labs developing the theory of a cellular mobile telephone service, but the technology to do it didn't exist until the 1970s. Prior to that, the wireless car phone was the preserve of the police and the very rich. `Fry on the phone' is quite technical and most interviews are with the engineers and company executives who developed the modern cellular network and its mobile phones. It doesn't go into scientific details that much, so it's quite easy to understand. It's often a dry retelling of the story, although Stephen's amusing voice over and the occasional interviewee quips ensure that there's an entertaining feel to the content.
It's good ripped to the iPod as it can be listened to in chunks as originally broadcast, although neither iTunes or Windows Media Player recognised the CD (I have updated Gracenote with the details). The CD's 25 tracks are split into five 15 minute parts:
1 - Creating the network
2 - From car phones to executive bricks
3 - The accidental discovery of text
4 - Shrinking the handset
5 - The chips that make smart phones smart.
Although on the CD all 5 episodes are mixed into one continuous 75 minute broadcast. It was first broadcast by Radio 4 in November 2011. Although I'm not obsessed with my mobile phone or feel a need for the latest model, I am very interested in technology and all things shiny. So I quite enjoyed the program, and rate it 4* when on offer for around a fiver.