Megaphone. Мегафон wiki


MegaFon - Wikipedia

This article is about the cellular phone operator. For a sound amplification device, see megaphone. For the Austrian street newspaper, see Megaphon.

MegaFon (Russian: МегаФон), previously known as North-West GSM, is the second largest mobile phone operator[3] and the third largest telecom operator in Russia.[4] It works in the GSM, UMTS and LTE standard. Its main competitors are Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), VimpelCom (Beeline), and Tele2 (Rostelecom) in the cellular segment, and Rostelecom and Interregional TransitTelekom in the fixed-line seagment.[5] As of June 2012, the company serves 62.1 million subscribers in Russia and 1.6 million in Tajikistan, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.[6] It is headquartered in Moscow.

In 2002 the company changed its name from North-West GSM to MegaFon when it acquired several regional companies, becoming the first GSM company in Russia to cover all its territory. The name "MegaFon" in Russian is spelled and pronounced exactly like the Russian word for megaphone; other connotations are mega- as "big" and fon as "telephone".

History[edit]

June 17, 1993, was the registration date of North-West GSM CJSC (Saint Petersburg). Alexander Malyshev became the first General Director. The major international investors included Scandinavian companies Sonera (Finland), Telia International AB (Sweden) and Telenor Invest AS (Norway). Telecommunication equipment was supplied by Nokia.[7][8]

1994 – launch of commercial operation of GSM (2G) network, the first in Russia.[9][10]

1999 – number of the company’s subscribers became over 100,000. By that time the network of the North-West GSM had completely covered Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region, it was also actively expanding in the northern areas of the Russian North-West.[11]

July 1999 – North-West GSM was the first Russian operator that signed roaming agreements with all countries in Europe. The same year, for the first time ever in Russia, mobile communication started to operate in Saint Petersburg metro, and the operator’s spectrum of value-added services included WAP-access to the Internet.

2000 – shareholders of the company adopted a new strategy that was targeted at the mass market.[12][13]

November 2001 – number of North-West GSM subscribers exceeded 500,000.[14][15]

May 2002 – The number of North-West GSM subscribers exceeded 1 million.[16]

May 7, 2002 – in the course of rebranding North-West GSM CJSC was renamed to MegaFon OJSC. Rebranding of the company was started on April 28, 2002, by change of the logo. At that moment, North-West GSM was merged with Sonic Duo CJSC (Moscow), Ural GSM CJSC (Yekaterinburg), Mobicom-Kavkaz CJSC (Krasnodar), Mobicom-Center CJSC, Mobicom-Novosibirsk CJSC, Mobicom-Khabarovsk CJSC, MCS-Povolzhie OJSC, Volzhsky GSM (Saransk, Republic of Mordovia).[17][18][19][20][21]

On October 2, 2008, MegaFon launched for operation the first Russian fragment of the third generation network in IMT-2000/UMTS (3G) at the territory of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region. For the first time ever in this country the radio access sub-system UTRAN (UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network) was launched for trial commercial operation and included 30 base stations. And already on October 24, 2007, MegaFon announced about start of 3G service in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region. For the first time in Russia, the following services became available for mass users: Internet access at the data transmission speed that is ten times higher than in the existing GSM networks (2G and 2,5G) of GPRS/EDGE technology, high-quality Mobile TV, video communication.[22][23]

December 2008 – the extraordinary General Shareholders Meeting of MegaFon took a resolution on reorganization of MegaFon OJSC in the form of its merger with Sonic Duo CJSC (Moscow), Ural GSM CJSC (Yekaterinburg), Mobicom-Kavkaz CJSC (Krasnodar), Mobicom-Center CJSC, Mobicom-Novosibirsk CJSC, Mobicom-Khabarovsk CJSC, MCS-Povolzhie OJSC. The number of subscribers exceeded 43.2 million.[24][25]

On March 16, 2009, MegaFon founded a virtual mobile network operator "PROSTO" (Just for Communication) on the basis of the Stolichny Branch.[26][27][28]

On July 1, 2009, reorganization was completed, and now mobile communication services in Russia are provided by the North-West, Stolichny, Kavkaz, Center, Volga, Ural, Siberia and Far East branches of MegaFon OJSC.[29][30]

On September 25, 2009, it was announced about rebranding of TT mobile CJSC, subsidiary of MegaFon that provided telecom services under the brand of MLT – "Mobile Lines of Tajikistan". The new company’s name is MegaFon-Tajikistan.[31][32][33]

Since March 1, 2010, Ostelecom CJSC started to provide telecom services in the South Ossetia under MegaFon brand.[34][35][36][37]

In June 2010, MegaFon acquired 100% shares of Synterra company, which was a move to strengthen network infrastructure and enhance the positions in the markets of long-distance communication, fixed and mobile broadband access to the Internet, as well as convergence services.[38][39]

Three months later, the extraordinary General Shareholders Meeting of MegaFon unanimously approved acquisition of 100% shares of PeterStar CJSC from Synterra.[40][41][42]

Based on the results of Q3 2010 MegaFon became the second-ranked operator in mobile revenue.[43][44][45][46]

Based on Q3 2010 results MegaFon became the leader in the revenue share from value-added services (VAS) among the Big Three operators.[47][48]

As a result of 2010, MegaFon became the Top 2 operator (after MTS) in number subscribers among the Russian cellular communication providers.[49][50][51][52][53][54]

As a result of 2010, MegaFon acquired the Top Second position in terms of revenue among the Russian Big Three operators.[55][56][57][58]

On July 20, 2011, it was announced about rebranding of TT mobile CJSC. MLT brand was renamed to MegaFon-Tajikistan.[31][32][33]

In November 2011, MegaFon signed a partnership agreement with Scartel on joint development of the Fourth Generation networks LTE (Long Term Evolution) in Russia. As a result, the company got the opportunity to provide LTE 4G services using Scartel’s equipment. In its turn, Scartel will be able to use MegaFon’s infrastructure.[59][60][61]

In December 2011, the company created MegaLabs, 100% subsidiary, which is the single center of innovative design and prompt launch of value-added services. The new company is focused on fast introduction of advanced products and services to the market (content and media, mobile finance, mobile advertising, cloud solutions, М2М, e-government, m-health, etc.) through efficient partnership with well-known market players and young teams of developers. At the same time, MegaLabs is a platform for experimental designs by MegaFon.[62][63]

In August 2012 MegaFon released its first smartphone called Megafon Mint in Russia with the new Intel Atom (system on chip).[64] In December 2013 the company received a licence for cable television broadcasting.[65]

In January 2014 the company has launched international roaming data networks in the fourth generation. The first countries where service is available are Switzerland and South Korea.[66] The same month MegaFon CEO Ivan Tavrin obtained a 12% stake of VK.com, Russia's most popular social networking website, from VK's founder Pavel Durov.[67]

On February 2014 board of directors of MegaFon has approved a deal to buy a 100% voting stake in SMARTS Volgograd, a unit of mobile firm SMARTS which covers the Volga and central regions of the country.[68]

In same month, MegaFon commercially launched fragment network LTE Advanced (LTE-A) within the Garden Ring in Moscow. Formerly MegaFon network tested LTE-A in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. For this Megafon uses bands in the range 2600 MHz own unique combination of frequency spectrum and network resource of Skartel as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).[69]

Hardware branding[edit]

In recent years, the company began production of hardware under "MegaFon" brand. These include fixed and mobile phones[70] as well as tablet computers branded as MegaFon Login. They are produced in Taiwan and may bear technical indexes such as "SP-AI" and "MT3A".[71]

Owners and management[edit]

The Company was founded by the largest foreign investors: Sonera (Finland), Telia International AB (Sweden) now merged into Telia Company, along with Telenor Invest AS (Norway). Telecom equipment was purchased from Nokia.

The owners of the company as of March 2018 are as follows:[72]

Outside Russia[edit]

Allegations[edit]

The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) has accused the Russian mobile telecommunications company MegaFon of illegal business operations and participation in the military and economic annexation of Georgia.

According to the GNCC, "MegaFon" has provided unlicensed mobile phone coverage in the conflict zones of Georgia beginning in 2005, in particular – the South Ossetia region. The company covered mostly the areas of dislocation of the Russian military forces present in Georgia under the CIS peacekeeping mandate. The rest of the area was mostly covered by the Georgian mobile phone carriers "Geocell" Ltd. and "Magticom". In the spring of 2008, GNCC received complaints from Georgian mobile communication companies regarding the destruction of their communication facilities in the region and installation of MegaFon antennas. The GNCC conducted survey monitoring trips to establish the presence of MegaFon’s unlicensed coverage. The GNCC has imposed two fines on MegaFon: the first – in the amount of 5,000 GEL ($3,750) in July 2008, and the second, for the recurrence of violation in the amount of 500,000 GEL (approx. $350,000) in September 2008.[citation needed]

Because Georgian law envisages criminal liability for illegal business activities, the GNCC has notified the General Prosecutor of Georgia on the alleged violations committed by MegaFon. The Prosecutor General of Georgia is expected to initiate criminal proceedings against key officials of MegaFon.

On October 2, 2008, Tbilisi City Court upheld the decision of GNCC, finding MegaFon liable for providing unlicensed telecommunication services in Georgia.

MegaFon’s appeal of the second administrative fine shall be heard by Tbilisi City Court in November 2008.

Tajikistan[edit]

MegaFon's only subsidiary outside Russia is Tajikistan's TT Mobile.[3]

Uzbekistan[edit]

Kommersant reported on September 7, 2006, that MegaFon is negotiating in buying an 85% stake in Uzbek mobile operator Coscom from the MCT Corpation. The other 15% stake in Coscom would be held by Coscom management and private shareholders. Analysts estimated Coscom is worth between USD $180–200 million. Coscom's has over 300,000 customers.[3]

Iran[edit]

BBC Persian reported on May 13, 2008, that Megafon has opened its office in Tehran.[73]

Criticism[edit]

By November 2012 MegaFon received a number of orders from Russian telecommunication and consumer market authorities to amend contracts with its 63 million subscribers and to make these contracts compliant with requirements of Russian law.[75] All MegaFon's attempts to challenge these orders in Russian arbitration courts were unsuccessful.[76][77]

MegaFon violated consumer rights a number of times in 2012 calendar year.[78][79][80] Following the recent changes of Russian law (Article 40 in RF Law on February 7, 1992, year No. 2300-1 "On Protection of Consumer Rights"), competent authorities may demand an immediate liquidation of the company.

MegaFon did not meet requirements of Russian legislation and did not report any legally required certificates of compliance to the Federal Communications Agency Rossvyaz.[81][82]

Spam prevention[edit]

In the «Megafon» network there are a number of security issues and instruments for spam preventing:

  • automation system for collecting and analysis of claims on the facts of the undesirable SMS messages (smishing, mailings, notifications about discounts, sales, etc.). Short number «1911». It is enough to send the received undesirable message to this number;[83]
  • it is possible to report about the fraud manually, having filled a form online on the specialized portal "Safe communications";[84]
  • protection against the undesirable entering cold calls, casual [85] (сell time) calls, vishing, Quid pro quo [86] is paid.[87]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

en.wikipedia.org

MegaFon - Wikipedia

This article is about the cellular phone operator. For a sound amplification device, see megaphone. For the Austrian street newspaper, see Megaphon.

MegaFon (Russian: МегаФон), previously known as North-West GSM, is the second largest mobile phone operator[3] and the third largest telecom operator in Russia.[4] It works in the GSM, UMTS and LTE standard. Its main competitors are Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), VimpelCom (Beeline), and Tele2 (Rostelecom) in the cellular segment, and Rostelecom and Interregional TransitTelekom in the fixed-line seagment.[5] As of June 2012, the company serves 62.1 million subscribers in Russia and 1.6 million in Tajikistan, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.[6] It is headquartered in Moscow.

In 2002 the company changed its name from North-West GSM to MegaFon when it acquired several regional companies, becoming the first GSM company in Russia to cover all its territory. The name "MegaFon" in Russian is spelled and pronounced exactly like the Russian word for megaphone; other connotations are mega- as "big" and fon as "telephone".

History[edit]

June 17, 1993, was the registration date of North-West GSM CJSC (Saint Petersburg). Alexander Malyshev became the first General Director. The major international investors included Scandinavian companies Sonera (Finland), Telia International AB (Sweden) and Telenor Invest AS (Norway). Telecommunication equipment was supplied by Nokia.[7][8]

1994 – launch of commercial operation of GSM (2G) network, the first in Russia.[9][10]

1999 – number of the company’s subscribers became over 100,000. By that time the network of the North-West GSM had completely covered Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region, it was also actively expanding in the northern areas of the Russian North-West.[11]

July 1999 – North-West GSM was the first Russian operator that signed roaming agreements with all countries in Europe. The same year, for the first time ever in Russia, mobile communication started to operate in Saint Petersburg metro, and the operator’s spectrum of value-added services included WAP-access to the Internet.

2000 – shareholders of the company adopted a new strategy that was targeted at the mass market.[12][13]

November 2001 – number of North-West GSM subscribers exceeded 500,000.[14][15]

May 2002 – The number of North-West GSM subscribers exceeded 1 million.[16]

May 7, 2002 – in the course of rebranding North-West GSM CJSC was renamed to MegaFon OJSC. Rebranding of the company was started on April 28, 2002, by change of the logo. At that moment, North-West GSM was merged with Sonic Duo CJSC (Moscow), Ural GSM CJSC (Yekaterinburg), Mobicom-Kavkaz CJSC (Krasnodar), Mobicom-Center CJSC, Mobicom-Novosibirsk CJSC, Mobicom-Khabarovsk CJSC, MCS-Povolzhie OJSC, Volzhsky GSM (Saransk, Republic of Mordovia).[17][18][19][20][21]

On October 2, 2008, MegaFon launched for operation the first Russian fragment of the third generation network in IMT-2000/UMTS (3G) at the territory of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region. For the first time ever in this country the radio access sub-system UTRAN (UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network) was launched for trial commercial operation and included 30 base stations. And already on October 24, 2007, MegaFon announced about start of 3G service in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region. For the first time in Russia, the following services became available for mass users: Internet access at the data transmission speed that is ten times higher than in the existing GSM networks (2G and 2,5G) of GPRS/EDGE technology, high-quality Mobile TV, video communication.[22][23]

December 2008 – the extraordinary General Shareholders Meeting of MegaFon took a resolution on reorganization of MegaFon OJSC in the form of its merger with Sonic Duo CJSC (Moscow), Ural GSM CJSC (Yekaterinburg), Mobicom-Kavkaz CJSC (Krasnodar), Mobicom-Center CJSC, Mobicom-Novosibirsk CJSC, Mobicom-Khabarovsk CJSC, MCS-Povolzhie OJSC. The number of subscribers exceeded 43.2 million.[24][25]

On March 16, 2009, MegaFon founded a virtual mobile network operator "PROSTO" (Just for Communication) on the basis of the Stolichny Branch.[26][27][28]

On July 1, 2009, reorganization was completed, and now mobile communication services in Russia are provided by the North-West, Stolichny, Kavkaz, Center, Volga, Ural, Siberia and Far East branches of MegaFon OJSC.[29][30]

On September 25, 2009, it was announced about rebranding of TT mobile CJSC, subsidiary of MegaFon that provided telecom services under the brand of MLT – "Mobile Lines of Tajikistan". The new company’s name is MegaFon-Tajikistan.[31][32][33]

Since March 1, 2010, Ostelecom CJSC started to provide telecom services in the South Ossetia under MegaFon brand.[34][35][36][37]

In June 2010, MegaFon acquired 100% shares of Synterra company, which was a move to strengthen network infrastructure and enhance the positions in the markets of long-distance communication, fixed and mobile broadband access to the Internet, as well as convergence services.[38][39]

Three months later, the extraordinary General Shareholders Meeting of MegaFon unanimously approved acquisition of 100% shares of PeterStar CJSC from Synterra.[40][41][42]

Based on the results of Q3 2010 MegaFon became the second-ranked operator in mobile revenue.[43][44][45][46]

Based on Q3 2010 results MegaFon became the leader in the revenue share from value-added services (VAS) among the Big Three operators.[47][48]

As a result of 2010, MegaFon became the Top 2 operator (after MTS) in number subscribers among the Russian cellular communication providers.[49][50][51][52][53][54]

As a result of 2010, MegaFon acquired the Top Second position in terms of revenue among the Russian Big Three operators.[55][56][57][58]

On July 20, 2011, it was announced about rebranding of TT mobile CJSC. MLT brand was renamed to MegaFon-Tajikistan.[31][32][33]

In November 2011, MegaFon signed a partnership agreement with Scartel on joint development of the Fourth Generation networks LTE (Long Term Evolution) in Russia. As a result, the company got the opportunity to provide LTE 4G services using Scartel’s equipment. In its turn, Scartel will be able to use MegaFon’s infrastructure.[59][60][61]

In December 2011, the company created MegaLabs, 100% subsidiary, which is the single center of innovative design and prompt launch of value-added services. The new company is focused on fast introduction of advanced products and services to the market (content and media, mobile finance, mobile advertising, cloud solutions, М2М, e-government, m-health, etc.) through efficient partnership with well-known market players and young teams of developers. At the same time, MegaLabs is a platform for experimental designs by MegaFon.[62][63]

In August 2012 MegaFon released its first smartphone called Megafon Mint in Russia with the new Intel Atom (system on chip).[64] In December 2013 the company received a licence for cable television broadcasting.[65]

In January 2014 the company has launched international roaming data networks in the fourth generation. The first countries where service is available are Switzerland and South Korea.[66] The same month MegaFon CEO Ivan Tavrin obtained a 12% stake of VK.com, Russia's most popular social networking website, from VK's founder Pavel Durov.[67]

On February 2014 board of directors of MegaFon has approved a deal to buy a 100% voting stake in SMARTS Volgograd, a unit of mobile firm SMARTS which covers the Volga and central regions of the country.[68]

In same month, MegaFon commercially launched fragment network LTE Advanced (LTE-A) within the Garden Ring in Moscow. Formerly MegaFon network tested LTE-A in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. For this Megafon uses bands in the range 2600 MHz own unique combination of frequency spectrum and network resource of Skartel as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).[69]

Hardware branding[edit]

In recent years, the company began production of hardware under "MegaFon" brand. These include fixed and mobile phones[70] as well as tablet computers branded as MegaFon Login. They are produced in Taiwan and may bear technical indexes such as "SP-AI" and "MT3A".[71]

Owners and management[edit]

The Company was founded by the largest foreign investors: Sonera (Finland), Telia International AB (Sweden) now merged into Telia Company, along with Telenor Invest AS (Norway). Telecom equipment was purchased from Nokia.

The owners of the company as of March 2018 are as follows:[72]

Outside Russia[edit]

Allegations[edit]

The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) has accused the Russian mobile telecommunications company MegaFon of illegal business operations and participation in the military and economic annexation of Georgia.

According to the GNCC, "MegaFon" has provided unlicensed mobile phone coverage in the conflict zones of Georgia beginning in 2005, in particular – the South Ossetia region. The company covered mostly the areas of dislocation of the Russian military forces present in Georgia under the CIS peacekeeping mandate. The rest of the area was mostly covered by the Georgian mobile phone carriers "Geocell" Ltd. and "Magticom". In the spring of 2008, GNCC received complaints from Georgian mobile communication companies regarding the destruction of their communication facilities in the region and installation of MegaFon antennas. The GNCC conducted survey monitoring trips to establish the presence of MegaFon’s unlicensed coverage. The GNCC has imposed two fines on MegaFon: the first – in the amount of 5,000 GEL ($3,750) in July 2008, and the second, for the recurrence of violation in the amount of 500,000 GEL (approx. $350,000) in September 2008.[citation needed]

Because Georgian law envisages criminal liability for illegal business activities, the GNCC has notified the General Prosecutor of Georgia on the alleged violations committed by MegaFon. The Prosecutor General of Georgia is expected to initiate criminal proceedings against key officials of MegaFon.

On October 2, 2008, Tbilisi City Court upheld the decision of GNCC, finding MegaFon liable for providing unlicensed telecommunication services in Georgia.

MegaFon’s appeal of the second administrative fine shall be heard by Tbilisi City Court in November 2008.

Tajikistan[edit]

MegaFon's only subsidiary outside Russia is Tajikistan's TT Mobile.[3]

Uzbekistan[edit]

Kommersant reported on September 7, 2006, that MegaFon is negotiating in buying an 85% stake in Uzbek mobile operator Coscom from the MCT Corpation. The other 15% stake in Coscom would be held by Coscom management and private shareholders. Analysts estimated Coscom is worth between USD $180–200 million. Coscom's has over 300,000 customers.[3]

Iran[edit]

BBC Persian reported on May 13, 2008, that Megafon has opened its office in Tehran.[73]

Criticism[edit]

By November 2012 MegaFon received a number of orders from Russian telecommunication and consumer market authorities to amend contracts with its 63 million subscribers and to make these contracts compliant with requirements of Russian law.[75] All MegaFon's attempts to challenge these orders in Russian arbitration courts were unsuccessful.[76][77]

MegaFon violated consumer rights a number of times in 2012 calendar year.[78][79][80] Following the recent changes of Russian law (Article 40 in RF Law on February 7, 1992, year No. 2300-1 "On Protection of Consumer Rights"), competent authorities may demand an immediate liquidation of the company.

MegaFon did not meet requirements of Russian legislation and did not report any legally required certificates of compliance to the Federal Communications Agency Rossvyaz.[81][82]

Spam prevention[edit]

In the «Megafon» network there are a number of security issues and instruments for spam preventing:

  • automation system for collecting and analysis of claims on the facts of the undesirable SMS messages (smishing, mailings, notifications about discounts, sales, etc.). Short number «1911». It is enough to send the received undesirable message to this number;[83]
  • it is possible to report about the fraud manually, having filled a form online on the specialized portal "Safe communications";[84]
  • protection against the undesirable entering cold calls, casual [85] (сell time) calls, vishing, Quid pro quo [86] is paid.[87]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

en.bywiki.com

Megaphone - Wikipedia

A small sports megaphone for cheering at sporting events, next to a 3 in. cigarette lighter for scale

A megaphone, speaking-trumpet, bullhorn, blowhorn, or loudhailer is usually a portable or hand-held, cone-shaped acoustic horn used to amplify a person’s voice or other sounds and direct it in a given direction. The sound is introduced into the narrow end of the megaphone, by holding it up to the face and speaking into it, and the sound waves radiate out the wide end. A megaphone increases the volume of sound by increasing the acoustic impedance seen by the vocal cords, matching the impedance of the vocal cords to the air, so that more sound power is radiated. It also serves to direct the sound waves in the direction the horn is pointing. It somewhat distorts the sound of the voice because the frequency response of the megaphone is greater at higher sound frequencies.

Since the 1960s the voice-powered acoustic megaphone described above has been replaced by the electric megaphone, which uses electric power and a folded horn to amplify the voice.

History[edit]

The initial inventor of the speaking trumpet is a subject of historical controversy. There have been references to speakers in Ancient Greece (5th Century B.C.) wearing masks with cones protruding from the mouth in order to amplify their voices in theatres. [1] Hellenic architects may have also consciously utilized acoustic physics in their design of theatre amphitheaters.

A drawing by Louis Nicolas (right) on page 14 of the Codex canadensis, circa 1675 to 1682, shows a Native American chief named Iscouakité using a megaphone made of birch bark. The text of the illustration says that he is addressing his soldiers through a birch bark tube.

Drawing by Athanasius Kircher, 1684, shows man (left) using megaphone to communicate over distance

Both Samuel Morland and Athanasius Kircher have been credited with inventing megaphones around the same time in the 17th century. Morland, in a work published in 1655, wrote about his experimentation with different horns. His largest megaphone consisted of over 20 feet of copper tube and could reportedly project a person's voice a mile and a half.[2]

Twenty years earlier, Kircher described a device that could be used as both a megaphone and for "overhearing" people speaking outside a house. His coiled horn would be mounted into the side of a building, with a narrow end inside that could be either spoken into or listened to, and the wide mouth projecting through the outside wall.

Morland favored a straight, tube-shaped speaking device. Kircher’s horn, on the other hand, utilized a “cochleate” design, where the horn was twisted and coiled to make it more compact.

A later, papier-mache trumpet of special design was the Sengerphone.[3]

Additionally, in ruins of Tiwanaku are stones around the central place with holes shaped in megaphone's profile. Their purpose is today unknown, but as local guards can show, it is possible to amplify human voice as it is loud enough to hear it across large area.

The term ‘megaphone’ was first associated with Thomas Edison’s instrument 200 years later. In 1878, Edison developed a device similar to the speaking trumpet in hopes of benefiting the deaf and hard of hearing. His variation included three separate funnels lined up in a row. The two outer funnels, which were six feet and eight inches long, were made of paper and connected to a tube inserted in each ear. The middle funnel was similar to Morland’s speaking trumpet, but had a larger slot to insert a user’s mouth.[4]

With Edison’s megaphone, a low whisper could be heard a thousand feet away, while a normal tone of voice could be heard roughly two miles away. On the listening end, the receiver could hear a low whisper at a thousand feet away. However the apparatus was much too large to be portable, limiting its use. George Prescott wrote: “The principal drawback at present is the large size of the apparatus.”

Since the 1960s acoustic megaphones have generally been replaced by electric versions (below), although the cheap, light, rugged acoustic megaphone is still used in a few venues, like cheering at sporting events and cheerleading, and by lifeguards at pools and beaches where the moisture could damage the electronics of electric megaphones.

German soldier using a megaphone to command troops, 1930

A sailor using a megaphone to amplify the sound of a bugle to wake recruits at an American training camp in 1947

German lifeguard with megaphone, 1969

Austrian jazz singer using megaphone, 2007

Electric megaphone[edit]

(left) Woman using a small handheld electric megaphone at a demonstration in Portugal. (right) Electric megaphones use a type of horn loudspeaker called a reflex or reentrant horn. The sound waves travel in a zigzag path through concentric widening ducts (b, c, and d).

An electric megaphone is a handheld public address system, an electronic device that amplifies the human voice like an acoustic megaphone, using electric power. It consists of a microphone to convert sound waves into an electrical audio signal, an amplifier powered by a battery to increase the power of the audio signal, and a loudspeaker to convert the audio signal to sound waves again. Although slightly heavier than acoustic megaphones, electric megaphones can amplify the voice to a higher level, to over 90 dB. They have replaced acoustic megaphones in most applications, and are generally used to address congregations of people wherever stationary public address systems are not available; at outdoor sporting events, movie sets, political rallies, and street demonstrations.

Although electronic public address systems have existed since vacuum tube amplifiers were developed in the early 1920s, vacuum tube versions were too heavy to be portable. Practical portable electric megaphones had to await the development of microelectronics which followed the invention of the transistor in 1947. In 1954, TOA Corporation developed the EM-202, the world's first transistorized megaphone.[5]

Handheld versions are shaped generally like the old acoustic megaphone, with a microphone at one end and a horn speaker at the other, and a pistol grip on the side, with a trigger switch to turn it on. In use, the device is held up to the mouth, and the trigger is pressed to turn it on while speaking. Other larger versions hang from the shoulder on a strap, and have a separate handheld microphone on a cord to speak into, so users can address a crowd without the instrument obscuring their faces. A vast array of modern electric megaphones are available to purchase, and characteristics like power, weight, price, and the presence of alarms and shoulder straps all contribute to a consumer’s choice.[6]

The shape of the megaphone directly affects the range of projection; narrower horns compensate for lower power by concentrating sound more sharply than wide horns.

The EM-202 made by TOA Corp., the first transistorized handheld megaphone

Waist-slung megaphones with separate microphones

Man using megaphone with separate microphone

Impact on society[edit]

Portable megaphones are widely used for crowd management and mass communication. When needing to communicate information or directions to a large crowd of people in one place, an electric megaphone is valuable when other public address systems are not present.

Besides their practical implications, public address systems, including megaphones, also had a social impact. Public address systems helped promote women’s participation in society. In events like the National Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1920, when electronic public address systems were first becoming popularized, women used these amplifying technologies during roll call of participants.[7] Later, portable electric megaphones extended this equalizing influence to outdoor events. Some protest leaders use electric megaphones to speak to an outdoor crowd or to other protesters.

As of the 2010s, cheerleading is one of the few fields that still uses acoustic megaphones. Cheerleaders at the University of Minnesota are credited with first using acoustic megaphones in routines in 1898. Since then, cheerleaders have relied heavily on acoustic megaphones during performances at sporting events. Generally, female cheerleaders would use pom pons while male cheerleaders, with loud booming voices, would project cheers through megaphones.[8]Vocal projection is an important aspect for cheerleading, so experts recommend the use of acoustic megaphones not only to increase the volume of sound, but also to protect performers’ voices in the process.[9]

For decades, film directors have used megaphones to communicate with their cast and crew on sets where it was hard to hear. The acoustic megaphone became an iconic clichéd symbol of a movie director, although modern directors use electric megaphones. A major contributor to this cliche was Cecil B. DeMille, director of epic movies like The Ten Commandments and The King of Kings. Many of his films were biblical epics set on vast outdoor sets that required communication with hundreds of extras.[10]

The distinctive distorted sound of a human voice amplified by a megaphone is widely recognized, from its use in train and bus stations and sports arenas. Applied to music, it gives the sound of an antique acoustic gramophone record player. It has been used in radio advertisements and popular music to give retro and often humorous effects. A recorded voice or music can be processed to give it a "megaphone" sound effect without using an actual megaphone, by audio recording decks and software. In recording software like Logic Pro and Pro Tools, selecting certain filters and settings will produce an artificial sound almost indistinguishable from an electric megaphone.[11]

Legal Restrictions[edit]

Governments can pass laws restricting the use of electronically amplified megaphones. In the US the ability to use a megaphone in public can be restricted to certain decibel levels, time of day or banned in residential neighborhoods. They however can't ban the kind of speech used with a megaphone.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Montgomery, Henry C (1959). "Amplification and High Fidelity in the Greek Theater". The Classical Journal. 54 (6): 242–245. JSTOR 3294133.
  2. ^ Mills, Mara. "When Mobile Communication Technologies Were New." Endeavour 33.4 (200111111: 141-47.
  3. ^ Sengerphone-Y by Len Mullenger
  4. ^ Prescott, George B. Bell's Electric Speaking Telephone: Its Invention, Construction, Application, Modification, and History. New York: D. Appleton &, 1884.
  5. ^ TOA Corporation Megaphone History
  6. ^ "Megaphone & Bullhorns Archived 2012-09-01 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Kramarae, Cheris. Technology and Women's Voices: Keeping in Touch. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1988.
  8. ^ Hanson, Mary Ellen. Go! Fight! Win!: Cheerleading in American Culture. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular, 1995.
  9. ^ Carrier, Justin, and Donna McKay. Complete Cheerleading. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2006.
  10. ^ IMDB: Cecil B. DeMille
  11. ^ Savage, Jason. "The Megaphone Effect in Radio Ads". Houston Chronicle / Demand Media. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Bernstein, David. E. You Can't Say That!: The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws (2003 ed.). Cato Institute. p. 31. 

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