Jesse Russell


The Father of 2G

  • Jesse Russell is recognized for his pioneering work on wireless technology in the 1980s and 1990s, including the development of “2G.” In 1995, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.
  • Russell, a graduate of Tennessee State University, was the first African American hired by Bell Laboratories from an Historically Black College and University. Later completing a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Stanford, Russell spent three decades at AT&T working on developing wireless technology and improving the company’s wireless network, before starting his own company.

Building a Trusted Future

  • Jesse Russell helped change the way the world communicates. In 1988, he led the team that that developed and introduced digital cellular technology, dubbed “2G” because the technology replaced the analog system by the mobile phones of the time.
  • Russell is also credited with inventing the digital cellular base station and other technologies that enabled the development of digital services for cell phone users. The digital cellular base station that Russell developed enabled the development and expansion of today’s cellular networks, a prerequisite for the smartphone revolution and subsequent emergence of the “App Economy.”