Here’s how Vodafone started a trend that we’ll all benefit from, especially this New Year.

We all use our mobiles to make calls every single day without giving them a second thought. From calls that last a couple of minutes to those long-lengthy catch-ups with your friend from down South.

They can be so simple like a quick question to your other half to ask whether you need bread or milk. They can be meaningful and a way of supporting someone when you can’t be with them.

The first ever phone call occurred 36-years ago on New Year’s Eve and some say it’s what paved the way for the calls we’ll all be making this year. Corona has thrown an absolute spanner in the works for any plans that many of you will  have had.

Last year we welcomed 2020 by kissing our loved ones, eating nice food, and perhaps a glass of champagne or two. This year, we’ll all be bringing in 2021 digitally, or via satellites, and it’s Michael Harrison that we must thank.

Thanks Michael Harrison.

So, by now you’re probably sat wondering what on earth we’re talking about. Well, 36 years ago, in 1985, the son of Vodafone’s chairman, Mr. Michael Harrison, sneaked out of his family New Year’s Eve party. He made his way to Parliament Square and did something that changed everything.

He made a phone call home and wished his father a Happy New Year. So? You say. SO, this was the UK’s first ever mobile phone call. All previous calls made had been landline calls, so this was a huge deal.

He didn’t take out a pocket size device from his checked suit trouser bottoms (we don’t actually know what he was wearing), he instead made the call from a 11lb briefcase-sized phone – and you thought iPhone 12 Pro Max was a beast.

In the call, Michael, or Mike as his father knew him, said: “Hi Dad. It’s Mike. This is the first-ever call made on a UK commercial mobile network.”

A photo of the first ever mobile phone.
Here's what Michael used to make the call!

And that was it. The first ever call made on a very cold New Year’s Eve from St Katherine’s Docks in London. On the other end of the call, people cheered and celebrated the momentous moment in the digital world.

This started something special and after beating BT Cellnet to start the first mobile network, Vodafone grew to become one of the top UK mobile networks. By the end of 1985, more than 12,000 mobile phones had been sold for about £2000 each – which makes us feel ever smugger  about our mobile phone deals.

Vodafone now has over 400 million customers worldwide and of these users, 134 billion calls were made last year. We’re wondering how many more will be made this year, any guesses?

Where are we now?

Of course, for us, things won’t be quite as intense this year. You may have got yourself a brand new phone for Christmas that you plan on using to call everyone in your contact list this New Year. If Christmas was crazy and you didn’t have chance don’t worry, there’s still time!

Our January deals are now live, featuring unmissable prices on some incredible mobiles – including the new iPhone 12. Michael had to lug his phone through the cold, London, December air, but we wouldn’t put you through that.

Our online deals mean that you don’t have to face the long high street queues or the mob of people eagerly awaiting to get their hands on a bargain. You don’t even have to leave your house to pick it up - we’ll deliver it straight to your door, in time for New Year’s Eve. So, thanks Michael, but we’re going to do things a little different this year!