Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,095 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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1982 December@ Racal Electronics in conjunction with Millicom of USA won one of the first licences to operate a cellular telephone network in the UK.[1]

1984 The operating company was Racal-Vodafone Ltd[2]. A new public telephone service based on cellular technology was announced[3], run by Racal and Millicom[4]. The network would be operated by the AA and Racal, using L. M. Ericsson's Vodafone method[5]

1985 1st January: Racal introduced the Vodafone service[6]

1987 Racal Electronics acquired the 20 percent of Racal-Vodafone that it did not own[7]

1988 Racal-Vodafone Ltd was one of the telephone companies granted a variation in their licence in relation to chatlines[8]

1988 Vodafone was packaged together with other Racal companies to form Racal Telecommunications Group[9]; 20% of Racal Telecom was floated on the London Stock Exchange. This would lead to the situation where Racal Electronics was valued at less than its shareholding in Racal Telecom.

1989 Signed the 500,000th customer, making Vodafone the largest mobile phone company in the world[10]

1991 Racal Telecom was demerged in October 1991 forcing a more positive valuation of the rest of Racal Electronics. The Telecoms company was renamed Vodafone Group plc[11]

Vodafone later became the largest mobile network in the world and the highest valued company on the FTSE 100.

1993 The parent company was Vodafone Group plc[12]

1996 Christopher Gent was appointed chief executive

1999 Acquired US company Airtouch; Vodafone had 28 million customers in 23 countries.

2012 Acquired Cable and Wireless Worldwide.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Dec. 17, 1982
  2. The Times, May 08, 1984
  3. The Times, May 22, 1984
  4. The Times, Oct 13, 1984
  5. The Times, Nov 21, 1984
  6. The Times, Dec 31, 1984
  7. The Times, December 30, 1986
  8. The London Gazette 13 May 1988
  9. The Times (London, England), Friday, July 15, 1988
  10. The Times August 23, 1999
  11. The Times 9 Aug 1991
  12. London Gazette 11 June 1993
  • The Times, August 23, 1999