Mobile phone celebrates 30th birthday

It is 30 years since the first mobile phone call was made, using a cumbersome handset with a battery the size of a house brick.

The first commercial call was made on New Year’s Day 1985 and the first text message was sent on 3 December, 1992, 22 years ago, reports. This historic call was made by Michael Harrison, the son of the late Vodafone chairman Sir Ernest Harrison. It took place from Parliament Square at midnight, when Mr Harrison phoned his parents to wish them Happy New Year.

The first text message was sent by software programmer Neil Papworth. He wished Vodafone director Richard Jarvis a ‘Happy Christmas’, using his computer as there was no keyboard on the phone.

A film has been created by Vodafone to commemorate the landmark phone call, which shows children’s hilarious reactions upon seeing the first mobile phone used in Britain. The group of school children were asked questions like ‘What was the world like before mobile phones?’.

One eight year old believed it was black and white, and that people used carrier pigeons to send messages. Another child imagined that the first mobile phones were probably used in World War One.

Text messaging and mobile phone use has come a long way since 1985, with around 80 million mobile phones registered in the UK, reports In the three months to September, an astounding 44 billion minutes of calls were made – an average of seven minutes per phone, per day.

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