The mobile phone call: Going strong for 30 years

30 years ago Britain’s first-ever mobile phone call was made on the newly-launched Vodafone network.

In 1985 Michael Harrison, the son of former Vodafone Chairman Sir Ernest Harrison, was the first to test the system, calling his father at midnight on 1 January, 1985. Michael secretly left his family’s New Year’s Eve party at their home in Surrey in the UK to surprise his father, calling him from London’s Parliament Square. Harrison made the historic call from one of the first mobile devices – a Transportable Vodafone VT1, which weighed 11lb (5kg) and had around 30-minutes of talk time. Harrison recalls that the line was crystal clear, although the excited shouting of New Year’s Eve revellers in London created considerable background noise.

As Sir Ernest Harrison answered the phone, Michael said: “Hi Dad. It’s Mike. This is the first-ever call made on a UK commercial mobile network”. At the other end of the line, champagne corks popped and photographers captured the moment – the culmination of three years of hard work since the bid was made to win the license in 1982.

My how mobile communications has changed over the past 30 years.

We can now use 3G and 4G networks to browse online, read email and upload and download content to our hearts content, all from our now called ‘smartphones‘.

On top of this, advances in technology allow businesses to converge smartphones with fixed telephone systems (Vodafone One Net) and link together with an I.T solution (Microsoft Office 365) meaning access to documents anytime, anywhere.

Businesses really can have an integrated communications solution that helps them become more efficient by being contactable 24/7 by mobile, landline, text, messenger or even web conferencing across multiple devices (smartphone, landline, tablet, desktop).

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