Is there one important mobile phone call that sticks in your mind? To celebrate three decades of mobile in the UK, we've been looking back at 30 years of important calls...

Ernie Wise makes first Vodafone call

They say time flies when you’re having fun, but it shoots by when you’re on the phone, too. 2015 marks 30 years since the first mobile phone call in the UK, and it’s a huge Vodafone milestone. Why? Because we made that call. On 1 January 1985 Michael Harrison made the call from Parliament Square to his home in Surrey, kicking off a revolution in tech that still defines how we communicate to this day.

We’ve got a heap of big events planned to help celebrate the mobile call’s 30th anniversary over the coming weeks, and Vodafone Social will be there every step of the way, but we thought we’d kick things off by celebrating you: the people who use our network every day…

30 years of mobile

With the help of OnlineBus, we’ve surveyed over 1200 people in the UK aged 16 and over about the role mobile phones play in their lives, and how that’s changed over time. And there are some pretty fascinating results.

First up, we asked how many people still had the first phone they ever owned. With tech marching on it’s not surprising that only 16 percent do. But while that number may seem small, nearly half of those surveyed do have at least one older phone still kicking around, and 65 percent of those who do have two or more.

The reasons for that are a great insight into how mobiles have become more important to us over time. The majority responded that it was as a backup in case they lose their current handset, but the next highest set of responses were to do with sentimental reasons – either because those old handsets contain momentous messages, perfect pics or memorable music on them, or simply because the phones themselves mean a lot for other nostalgic reasons.


And that’s really interesting: our mobiles are more than just tools for making calls and sending texts; they’re personal belongings, and they’re with us every day of the year, for big chunks of our lives.

41 percent of parents said they’ve been in a situation before where having or not having a mobile phone has had a big impact on their lives, while 40 percent of 16-24 year olds agree. Time to find out how impactful mobile calls can be…



Keep it locked to Vodafone Social for much more about our 30th Anniversary celebrations, including amazing events, time-travelling stunts and exclusive celebrity interviews.

Join the conversation… Do you still have your old phones? What’s the reason? Could you live without your phone? Let us know your thoughts on any of the above by using the comments section below this post!