It was on the 9th of August 1981 that Australia’s first mobile call was made on Telecom’s original public mobile network. The car phone weighed a whopping 14kg, was half a metre big and cost $5000 at the time — around $17,000 in today’s terms. It could only store 16 numbers, and the best part: you were alerted of incoming calls by honking the car horn or flashing the headlights!
It was Telecom’s Managing Director, Bill Pollock, who made the first call over the PAMTS (or 007) network while driving through Melbourne. He called Telecom’s Chief Commissioner, Tom May, in Sydney. Back then, Telstra’s current Executive Director of Networks, Mike Wright, was a graduate engineer in 1981 and oversaw installation of the first mobile network exchange in Brisbane.
“We called the first Telstra network the 007 Network because that was the number range it used and while in today’s terms it was more like a ’Zero-G‘ network, it was the foundation of Australia’s modern mobile phone industry. In just 30 years we’re now building a 4G network, that’s five generations of mobile evolution so far in my career.”
How far we’ve come. More: Telstra Starts Selling 4G (LTE), But Won’t Reveal Speeds
Related: Check out this great Sale of the Century clip that Giz reader @Atilla found: