In the first few minutes of 1985, a small piece of history was being made that would herald the start of a new era in communication.
On January 1st 1985, 24 year old Michael Harrison was at party in Parliament Square in London when he decided to call home to his mother and father in Surrey to wish them happy new year.
“Hi Dad, it’s Mike. Happy New Year. This is the first-ever call on a UK mobile network.”
Michael’s father was Sir Ernest Harrison, chairman of Vodafone and the phone his son was using for the call was the Vodafone VT1, which was first ‘mobile’ phone produced by Vodafone.
We say ‘mobile’ but the fact that the VT1 weighed a almost 2kg and was bigger than a large shoe box meant that it was not actually quite as mobile as the mobile phones of later years. The Vodafone VT1 cost £2,000 in 1985 which is the equivalent to almost GBP £4,500 in today’s money.
Nonetheless, the Vodafone VT1, which was the portable version of the Vodafone VM1, which was the carphone version and weighed 5kg, were among the devices which first introduced the public to the idea of making calls on the go.
The 1980’s were incredibly exciting times for technology. As well as the UK’s first mobile phone call, the microchip was becoming more affordable and accessible which meant the start personal computing. Other devices such as the camcorder, CD and Walkman were also launched in the same decade.
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Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.