Vodafone is 30! Saturday 22 March 2014 marks three decades since the Vodafone name was officially launched. Read on for a trip down memory lane...


Today is a pretty big milestone for us. On 22 March 1984 the Vodafone name was officially unveiled for the first time. That first introduction, courtesy of a press release sent out to UK journalists, marked the beginning of our journey from the UK’s first mobile network to a global corporation, providing services to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

We’ve been scouring through the Vodafone archives and have come across the original announcement itself, so we thought we’d share it here with you.

Humble beginnings

The original press release states that the Vodafone network would ‘find wide use among people constantly on the move, such as business executives, sales representatives, journalists, doctors and veterinary surgeons’, and goes on to say that subscribers would be able to ‘use the portable Vodafone to remain constantly in touch anywhere and at any time day or night’. That was brand new technology in the UK, and we were the first to offer such a service.

You can read a PDF of the original announcement here:


press releasethumbVodafone: The beginning
Check out the news that started it all. 30 years ago today, this press release landed on journalists’ desks up and down the UK.
Click here to read our first press release


What’s in a name?

The name Vodafone originated from the words ‘voice’, ‘data’ and ‘phone’, although the ‘ph’ in phone was swapped for an ‘f’ on the advice of advertising experts Saatchi and Saatchi. It’s fair to say that not many of the original directors agreed with the recommendation, but Saatchi and Saatchi made the case and the rest is history.

We had a good idea of how important mobile connectivity would eventually become back then, but mobile and Vodafone have come an awfully long way since those humble beginnings in 1984. If you’d like to know the full story, you can read some of the key milestones from Vodafone’s long history here.

Were you an early Vodafone customer? We’d love to hear from you about your memories! Tell us your story using the comments section below.