'Hi Dad. It’s Mike' - The First Mobile Call on UK Commercial Network in 1985

'Hi Dad. It’s Mike' - The First Mobile Call on UK Commercial Network in 1985 Image Credit: Vodafone

“Hi Dad. It’s Mike. This is the first-ever call made on a UK commercial mobile network” - these were the first words uttered on the first mobile phone which debuted in London 30 years ago - in 1985. The caller was Michael Harrison and the call was made to his father, Sir Ernest Harrison, the then Chairman of Vodafone. 

Vodafone recounted the historical moment for mobile communications, which took place of the eve of 1 January 1985, and said that the call was made via one of the first mobile devices -  a Transportable Vodafone VT1, which weighed 11lb (5kg) and had around 30-minutes of talk time. The call also marks the first call on Vodafone's mobile network, 3 years after it made a bid to win the licence.

Vodafone said in its statement that the company which now boasts more than 438 million customers and mobile operations in 26 countries, was the only company with a mobile network in the UK for the first 9 days of 1985.  More interestingly, Vodafone received more than 2,000 orders for a fully portable cellular phone even before the first call was made and before the network was even live. By the end of 1985, over 12,000 devices were sold, added Vodafone, with each device costing around £2,000. 

Vodafone Group Chief Commercial and Operations Officer Paolo Bertoluzzo
At launch, the founders of Vodafone targeted British ‘business executives, sales representatives, journalists, doctors and veterinary surgeons’. Thirty years later, Vodafone’s customers range from young people in Europe, India and Africa through to the world’s largest multinational businesses. While our business has changed beyond all recognition over the last three decades, our goal and purpose haven’t: to continue to empower our customers, whoever and wherever they are, through connectivity, as mobile, broadband and digital transform society in ways unimaginable in the 1980s.


Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma


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