Just after midnight on 1st January 1985, the first mobile phone call was made on the Vodafone network – making it the very first mobile phone call in the UK.
Vodafone has come a long way since 1985. It is now considered Europe’s largest mobile network with over 116 million customers and market leader in the Internet of Things technology with over 85 million global connections.
Contrary to popular belief, the call wasn’t made by comedian Ernie Wise, who was hired by Vodafone to make the first public mobile call soon afterwards from St Katherine’s Dock – but by 24-year-old Michael Harrison, son of the first Vodafone chairman, Sir Ernest Harrison. Michael snuck out of his family’s New Year’s Eve party in Surrey to call his father from Parliament Square in London, using the very first ‘mobile’ phone sold by Vodafone in the 80s – which was the size and weight of a small dog.
Michael Harrison talks about the very first words he spoke on that first phone call that made history from the same spot in Parliament Square: