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By Germaink
I'm looking to learn how to create cellular communication devices, but suffer one dire set back - I have no formal electronic building experience. I consider myself technically savvy, and have operational knowledge of some pretty complex instruments. I'm looking to start small - perhaps building my own cellphone. Any ideas?

By doragasu
Building a Cellular phone is an extremely complex task for a novice, unless you use a module like the GM862 by Telit.

A cellular phone has a lot of subsystems and must implement a lot of complex protocols, you should avoid to start with such and advanced task.
By elecngnr
I am an engineer who has some knowledge of wireless communications. Not to discourage you, but I would start on some easier projects and work up to that. And start reading now, because wireless communications standards and signal processing are not light topics. Build some transceivers, maybe a simple AM/FM radio, and get your electronic legs underneath you. These projects will also help you understand how to deal with signals and some of the wireless communication issues.
By DynamoBen
I have no "formal" electronic training but I do OK. I started with basic stamps and have progressed from there. If you’re comfortable reading datasheets, specs, schematics, etching boards, and soldering you might do OK. However, doing the cellular stuff can get expensive. One mistake could cost a few hundred dollars. Additionally testing your phone will take airtime and there is cost associated with that.

If you think you’re up to it then go for it. However, you ultimately will be on you down. You could use the rotary phone project as somewhat of a reference but you won't really find any step by steps for what you’re doing.