Vodafone: First mobile phone came on the market 25 years ago

Vodafone 25 years ago – On 30 June 1992, Vodafone, then under the name Mannesmann Mobilfunk, brought the first mobile phone to the German market. The prices and conditions have changed since then, the formerly expensive mobile communication became a bargain.

Vodafone 25 years ago

Vodafone is also celebrating an anniversary this summer and looks back on the last years of the company’s history. 25 years ago, on June 30, 1992, the company launched the first mobile phone on the German market. At that time, Vodafone still traded under the name Mannesmann Mobilfunk and was one of the pioneers of the German mobile market.

The company already received the GSM license on 7 December 1989 and built its own GSM network in the following years. With the “Motorola International 3200” came in 1992 the first GSM mobile phone from Vodafone on the market. The “bone” cost then about 3,000 DM and weighed 520 grams. For comparison: today’s devices weigh 140 grams on average and are available from about 100 euros, depending on manufacturer and equipment.

Vodafone: Expensive prices for the start

There were also changes in the tariffs, which in 1992 were quite different from today’s. The division into main and secondary times was usual, conversation minutes and SMS costs to busy times, for example during the day, much more than during the night hours. At Vodafone, a fee of 1.44 DM was charged during the day, from 7 pm onwards a conversation minute cost only 49 pfennigs. At Vodafone, a mobile phone tariff cost 77.52 DM, minutes and SMS came on top. Flatrates or packages such as these were not available at the time.

Today the Vodafone tariffs are already available from about 20 euros per month, the basic fees are now also considered package prices. For a fixed monthly amount, customers receive certain included services, such as freemasons and flatrates, or access to the mobile Internet, as defined for a certain amount of data. At Vodafone today, the rate is around 5 cents, regardless of the time of the day.

Mobile phone connections increased steadily

At the end of 1992 Vodafone had about one million mobile phone cards in Germany, in 1998 it was already fourteen million. At the end of 2016, the company reported 130 million mobile phone cards and, in addition to Telekom and Telefónica, is one of three network operators.

In 2003, Vodafone launched the mobile Internet in Germany with transmission rates of 384 Kbit / s. Data rates of up to 42.2 Mbps are now possible in the UMTS network. In 2010 the Datenturbo LTE, which now offers speeds of up to 500 Mbit / s. From 2020 Vodafone wants to provide data rates of 20 Gbit / s and more with 5G.

“Only the right framework has made 25 years of mobile communications a unique success story. Without the liberalization in the telecommunication market, we would still be in the communicative Stone Age. The experience shows that we must ensure today and in the future that there is a healthy infrastructure competition in Germany, “says Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO of Vodafone Deutschland.

Carmen Hornbogen



Ivy is loves technology and has been addicted to it since childhood. Apart from tech, she loves watching sci-fi / historical documentaries and traveling to new places.

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