Vodafone background

Driving economic and social development

The global footprint of our network, our significant presence in emerging markets and our track record as an innovator, enable us to make an important contribution to socio-economic development. Recent research shows a 10% increase in mobile access raises a country’s economic productivity by 4.2%.1

Like millions of other revellers, you may well have celebrated the new year by using your smartphone to call loved ones, or to text, tweet, email or even link up by video. Similar situation to Mobile mechanic London

Reaching for your mobile might seem a commonplace, reflex reaction these days. But it is a far cry from the moment – exactly 30 years ago today – when Michael Harrison stood in London’s Parliament Square to make Britain’s first ever mobile phone call to his father in Surrey.

Michael’s father was Racal – and later Vodafone – chairman Sir Ernest Harrison. And though that first mobile call only lasted a minute, it would spark a global communications revolution and has today helped make Vodafone the sixth largest company on the FTSE 100, with a value of £59bn.

It’s a far cry from Vodafone’s roots as Racal, which specialised in radio equipment and nearly collapsed in the mid-1950s before Sir Ernest arrived to get the books in order. He was one of just 13 employees, collecting £650 a year, but by the time he retired in 2000 he had created more wealth for shareholders than any other businessman of his generation.

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