On New Year’s Day, 1985, Michael Harrison phoned his father, Sir Ernest, to wish him a happy new year. Sir Ernest was chairman of Racal Electronics, the owner of Vodafone, A __________.
At the time, mobile phones weighed almost a kilogram, cost several thousand pounds and provided only 20 minutes talktime. The networks themselves were small; Vodafone had just a dozen masts covering London. Nobody had any idea of the huge potential of wireless communication and the dramatic impact B __________.
Hardly anyone believed there would come a day when mobile phones were so popular C __________. But in 1999 one mobile phone was sold in the UK every four seconds, and by 2004 there were more mobile phones in the UK than people. The boom was a result of increased competition which pushed prices lower and created innovations in the way that mobiles were sold.
When the government introduced more competition, companies started cutting prices to attract more customers. Cellnet, for example, changed its prices, D __________. It also introduced local call tariffs.
The way that handsets themselves were marketed was also changing and it was Finland’s Nokia who made E __________. In the late 1990s Nokia realized that the mobile phone was a fashion item: so it offered interchangeable covers which allowed you to customize and personalize your handset.
The mobile phone industry has spent the later part of the past decade reducing its monthly charge F __________, which has culminated in the fight between the iPhone and a succession of touch screen rivals.