Vodafone is a British-based telecommunications firm with operations in Europe and the US. It was first a component of Racal, a 1950-founded British radar and electronics company. Racal established its Vodafone subsidiary in 1983 and obtained the rights to create the first mobile phone network in Britain, which went live in 1985. Early in the 1990s, Vodafone began making acquisitions and forming global network alliances.
The founding of Racal Strategic Radio Ltd., a subsidiary of Racal Electronics plc, the leading manufacturer of military radio technology in the UK, marked the beginning of the “Vodafone” brand’s evolution. Racal Strategic Radio Ltd. and Millicom established a joint venture under Jan Stenbeck’s proposal dubbed “Racal Vodafone,” which would subsequently transform into the modern-day Vodafone.
When it all started: 1982–1990
Vodafone is regarded as the largest mobile communications firm in the world, operating from 1982 to 1990.
Racal Telecomms Plc floated in 1988.
By contributing one-third of Racal’s revenues this year, the Racal Telecomms Division displays its performance and profitability.
The First Decade: 1991–1996
1991 saw Racal and Vodafone separate. The Vodafone Group is traded as a separate entity on the London and New York stock exchanges.
The first Vodafone store opened on the high street in 1993. The business also declares its first distribution contract with Comet, a significant UK high street store.
Launch of data, fax, and SMS digital services in 1994.
Vodafone was the first company in the UK to introduce a pay-as-you-go analog plan in 1996. No contracts or credit checks are necessary.
1997: A new identity is revealed together with our 100th roaming agreement announcement.
A new chairman in 1998: As of 1 July 1998, all U workers will get share options worth half of their basic salary under the Millennium Share Options Scheme. Vodafone purchases the GSM network in New Zealand.
1999 saw the launch of Vodafone AirTouch, a 21st-century growth engine.
Vodafone Group plc: 2000 to present
In the year 2000, Vodafone purchased a portion of Mannesmann AG. Since then, our actual stake in Mannesmann Mobilfunk and Omnitel Pronto Italia has grown to almost 99.1% and 76%, respectively.
2001: Vodafone buys Eircell, the largest mobile communications provider in Ireland. Vodafone makes the first-ever 3G roaming call to end the year (between Spain and Japan).
2002: In the UK, Italy, and Germany, Vodafone tests its international mobile payment system. Customers can use their cell phones to make purchases of both physical and digital goods during the experiment.
The top mobile provider in Kuwait, MTC, and Vodafone established a partnership arrangement.
2003: Mobilkom Austria Group and the group sign a Partner Network Agreement to bring Vodafone’s international services to Austria, Croatia, and Slovenia.
Vodafone ups its ownership of Telecel to 70.3%. Vodafone has announced that it will increase its ownership of Vodafone Liberte to 98.2%. Vodafone announces the sale of its operator shares in Mexico and India.