Östen Mäkitalo, called "father of mobile telecommunications" has died suddenly and was active until the end. He was one of the initiators of the competence center CDT at Luleå University of Technology. It was at the Swedish Televerket that Östen Mäkitalo in his research, developed the first effective mobile telephony.
- I have worked together with Luleå University of Technology for almost 20 years and was a founding CDT (Centre for Distance-Spanning Technology), a Competence Center at the University, said Östen Mäkitalo e.g. in an interview with the magazine Computer Sweden for six years ago.
CDT was a completely new type of platform for research, with many active organizations, businesses and pilot users. The goal of the centre was to expand the applied IT research on mobility and the Internet. Central to the activities of the center was to work with real users and put their needs in focus, something that CDT in recent years developed into one of the best environments to experiment with new services.
- Some of Östen's unique abilities was to focus on what will be possible and valuable in the future, but that is not there today, and to have people around him to dare to take major initiatives and overcome obstacles to taking advantage of future opportunities. Although I had Östen as chairman and mentor since 1997, he had new knowledge and experiences to share every time we met, "says CDTs director Mikael Börjesson.
Östen Mäkitalo, born in the village Koutojärvi between Kalix and Övertorneå, was also a member of the Norrbotten Academy. He was one of the actors behind the mobile NMT system, whose construction shaped a new kind of mobile phones and is known as the "first generation mobile telephony." Mäkitalo was also a key figure behind the development of the GSM system.