All the evidence suggests: We have been deceived by America and our obedient 'elite' out of car kits and external antennas for mobile phones - and notebooks - in cars, so that they could continue their policy against professional devices in the car and for the propagation of silly 'smartphones' on a global basis. Why external antenna and notebook are preferable to a smartphone.
1 Plea for handheld phone in car kit and external antenna, and (for those who like) notebook connected
1.1 Foreword for your better comprehension of the situation (please do not skip)
After the nowadays globally used GSM system (= 2nd generation/2G digital mobile telephony), developped in Europe, was being introduced early in the 1990s in Europe, the other continents followed swiftly - except the Americas.
At that time, we used to buy our mobile phones not in chain stores or were fobbed off by 'hotlines'. We were being advised in professional communication stores and workshops (german: funkwerkstatt), bought our phones and extras there, and we had it mounted there into our cars. After that, we had a professional mobile communication system: a car kit as our car infrastructure (connected to an external antenna, the car battery, a microphone, a speaker, maybe also other extras like a receiver, a voice-activated dialler, etc), and - connected to it (for those who wanted it) - a notebook (the phone contains a high-speed modem). Because GSM and its successor technologies support simultaneous transmission of voice and data, we so had the same infrastructure on the road as we had at home or the office. That was european quality.
Further to pratical operations: We usually left the notebook inside the car, or we took it with us into the hotel. The phone we either left in its cradle in the car, or we took it along with us. After returning, we put it back into the cradle, and again it was (by being put into the cradle) connected to power, external antenna, microphone, speaker etc, such that we had a full-fledged carphone - but retractable. Superb european quality. Americans can only dream of such things.
Look, this is how our phone cradles looked like until 2003. Observe the antenna contacts (inside the cradles, top left in the 1st photo, top right in the 2nd). Below in the 2nd image, you can also see all the other contacts necessary for this function (which today is being withheld).
One day in 2003 - about the time when 3G (fast data traffic) was being introduced -, all this suddenly wasn't valid any more: Funkwerkstätten closed, only a few remained, and they suddenly refused to deal with private customers. NB: A mobile phone in a car kit and an external antenna is of course not illegal, likewise a connected notebook, even if some of them try to create this impression for you! Instead, intelligent people like you and me were suddenly forced to buy at chain stores, and having ourselves fobbed off in problem situations by that american-developped, un-european, robot-like monstrosity called 'hotline'. And we could not buy professional terminals any more, but silly phone/computer hybrides appearing under the euphemising camouflage name 'smartphone'. Of course, car kits and and external antennas were much harder to come by, because following the american diktat, these silly smartphones - that convert humans in zombies or lemmings - are simply being glued to the windshield inside. This is wrong, technically seen, as your car is a kind of Faraday cage, so it should be equipped with an external antenna. The fact that nowadays everybody does the same doesn't mean it is the right thing. There is rather evidence for the assumption that this is a gigantic case of global brainwashing of the people - european quality was by force (!) replaced by american kitsch, and on a global level. The professsional GSM system was downgraded to some kind of CB 2.0, the formerly professional GSMA downgraded to some kind of mentally slavish (to America) clowns circus.
Some examples confirming the justification of the demand for external antennas:
ACMA = Australian Communications and Media Authority:
The former link has changed, so you can find the text here: page 1 and 2.
Also leading german antenna manufacturer Kathrein - pronounced CUT-rhine - says the same thing:
This is a photo of page 13 of their document Mobilfunk-Antennentechnik, written by Peter Scholz, dipl-ing (= MS) at Kathrein.
Former british network operator Orange - today EE - said this: 'Being connected to an external antenna provides the best signal performance when using your mobile in a car. Using products like the Bury [pronounced BOO-ree] System 9 cradle will enable you to secure and charge your mobile as well as providing a connection to an external antenna.' Totally right. NB: I am not a Bury salesman.
Click here for full size.
And to assume that your conversation partner can hear you because you can hear him is a mental short-circut. It may be like that in favourable circumstances, but this is not a law of nature - so there is no guarantee for it.
The government - also the american such - clearly prefers external antennas for communicaton radio purposes:
The question needs to be asked: Why have legendary firms like Nokia or Ericsson, who have a history of traditionally providing the world with quality equipment, supported this development? Why has Wireless@kth-institut - who apparently has made all these ground-breaking developments - have let themselves instrumentalise to dump their own, supreme-value products and instead support the inferior american terminal policy? Mercedes, BMW or Audi (or other european brands) would not abandon their superb products either, just because the american car industry doesn't like them; instead, they sell them offensively on the american market and so successfully push back the american product logic.
A short explanation on the background. GSM mobile telephony was developped as a globally mobile ISDN landline extension. So GSM gives you all the ISDN characteristics on the road, and worldwide. If you have a phone and notebook at home/the office, you can 'take it into the car', then continue working as usual through your GSM line. (GSM is 2nd generation = 2G. UMTS/3G, LTE/4G, etc are derived GSM developments focussing on higher data rates, so GSM and also the successors embody the european principle.
GSM, as a european development, has had an extraordinary success on a global level. Having been introduced step by step in the early 90s' Europe, Australia and New Zealand followed shortly, then the countries in Africa and Asia (exceptions were Japan and South Korea, but they joined when 3G appeared). The only continent where nothing seemed to happen were the Americas. America does not appreciate to see its embarassing 'superiority' deception unmasked. Also, standardisation is an emotional atrocity for them - but they gladly enjoy its advantages. According to their 'If you can't beat them, join them' motto, it is safe to assume: America accepted, while grinding its teeth, the superiority of GSM, but decided tacitly to abuse the open standard to change the system's characteristics beyond recognition, or even undo some.
In the end of the 90s, also Canada and the USA finally followed, although hesitatingly and accompanied by much vicious resistance through 'patriotic' detractors, who made themselves heard in the media. Shortly afterwards, Chile was the first latin american country that followed, and within a few years, also Latin America was 'conquered'. What facilitated the change was the fact that european industry apparently developped a module enabling the less wealthy countries there to retain their old american infrastructure - GSM was kind of engrafted: The module acts downward (towards the mobile phone) as GSM, while mimicking TACS upward (up/down: seen with the switching hierarchy).
After having dumbed down the terminal end as described above, America consequently tackled the networks.
SIM cards were developped for a reason: By declaring the SIM card to be your line, you could put it into whatever phone you liked, at home and abroad. You were supposed to be free from constraints that your network operator might impose on you. Surely, America didn't like it and found ways to undo this achievement. First, they offered SIM cards 'without the need of a PIN code', which means that again the phone represents the line, and today this is the norm there and in countries mentally dependent on them. Due to their harmful global influence, even countries that used to know better now use the no-PIN SIM card.
SIM cards, even prepaid ones, give you access to the world of telecommunications, no matter if at home or abroad, and if you want voice, text or data (internet) services. Your only limit is your credit. So much freedom was too much for 'the land of the free': If experience made in Panama (Movistar, affiliate of a spanish network operator) is an indicator for what is going on in the GSM field on the american continent, then your SIM card will by default support voice and SMS only, and only at home. And after having sent a text message, you will find that you won't get a delivery confirmation, which is part of the GSM standard. If you want that, you must get WhatsApp, which again requires a 'smartphone'. Honi soit...
If you wish data too, you must ask for it. You may then get it if you pay for the necessary activitation. Of course, they can also cancel it again. But you may find that your network will support your data needs only in one cell (or group of cells), and that is in your district. If you move to another place within the same network, you may find yourself without data services again. Then, there is evidence that 'tethering' (using your notebook over your phone's highspeed modem) is ill seen in the american sphere of influence and its dubious logic. You might even find your line cancelled for 'tethering' - in the 'land of the free'.
If you think this must be an exception or an error, keep reading. When you travel to another country, you will receive the usual info SMS on tariff-related matters for that country. In contrast to normal GSM practice, you will find that roaming is not activated: You can't make calls there. Read the text message again, and it says there also that you must access their website to - what? You guessed it: activate roaming against another payment. Visiting that page, things become less clear: While they contend that roaming for voice calls needs no activation, only data, you still can't call. It looks as if you must activate (against payment) data roaming, in order to also make phone calls.
This is gringoism made in America, home of the anglo-autistic folly and the americanised robot economy. It's the people who require you to speak english but refuse to reciprocate with using the global standard metric system (including 24 hour clock).
If you think these machinations (as we must assume they are) are wrong, and if you would prefer to decide yourself what to equip your car with, plus maybe opt for notebook-over-phone on the street, then it won't be quite simple today: Due to the consequences of the american impact on the global market, makers of those phone extras that support this solution have had a hard time. I made my own such construction at a time when it still was more or less possible to do it, and I had to make few compromises only. How much of that is still possible today you will have to find out for yourself. If you'd like to try it yourself and would like to have some tips, please keep on reading on the next page.
This was possible when I did it (little appetiser for page 2):