What were you doing 25 years ago?


It’s a lifetime for some, but for many 1985 was not that long ago. I can remember, just about, being at school learning on the first serious computers we had - the BBC Micro! Oh the fun we had in those days of writing a short piece of code that scrolled words on a screen over and over again…. 10 PRINT “HELLO”, 20 GOTO 10. How times have changed.

But did you know that on New Years Day in 1985, the first ever mobile phone call was made from just down the road in Newbury, Berkshire? Michael Harrison phoned his father, a certain Sir Ernest Harrison, to wish him well in the New Year. Sir Ernest was Chairman of Racal Electronics and a company who I joined just two years later from school and spent 10 years working for. Within hours of that call, the Vodafone network went live to the nation – well only London and the Thames Valley initially.

The Guardian ran a feature article last week citing the Racal/Vodafone story and how the mobile phone has transformed the way we communicate. It’s a great read and one that really hits home at just how big the communications industry has become – and of course my employer Ericsson are in there. In fact our very own John Cunliffe, Chief Technology Officer, is quoted on where the next wave of growth is likely to come from.

Here’s a selection of other memories from 1985: Ronald Regan is sworn in as US President for a second term; We Are the World charity single is recorded; Mohammed Al Fayed buys Harrods; Norwich City win the League Cup at Wembley; Back to the Future premieres in cinemas and Lewis Hamilton was born!

Do you have any memories of 1985? How will we be communicating with each other 25 years from now?

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