The UK’s first mobile phone call was made 30 years ago today
The 1st January 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the first mobile phone call made in the UK.
On the 1st January 1985 Michael Harrison, son of former Vodafone chairman Sir Earnest Harrison, made a call using the Transportable Vodafone VT1. Using the device he placed the call from Parliament Square in London and connected with Sir Earnest who was at his family home in Surrey.
According to Vodafone upon answering the call Sir Ernest was greeted with the following message from his son Michael, “Hi Dad. It’s Mike. This is the first-ever call made on a UK commercial mobile network”.
It was a few days later that the first public UK mobile call was made as comedian Ernie Wise placed a call to the original Vodafone headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire from the location of St Katherine’s dock in London. Using the same VT1 device that Harrison had used only a few days prior, Wise spoke directly with Sir Ernest Harrison.
Unfortunately we do not know what was said as the momentous conversation transpired.
The Transportable Vodafone VT1 that was used by Wise weighed in at 4.7 kilos and was priced at £1,650 or £4,600 today (due to inflation).
After 30 years of service Vodafone offer their telecommunications services to customers in Europe, Africa and India and now has over 19.668 million customers (as of the end of November).