30 years of mobile phones in Australia

A look at how mobile phone technology has changed over the years

  • 9 August 2011 marks the 30th Anniversary of the launch of Australia's first public mobile network, the PAMTS or 007 network. Telecom’s managing director, Bill Pollock, made the first phone call in Australia as he was driving in Melbourne - he called Telecom’s Chief Commissioner, Tom May, in Sydney, officially launching the new service.

  • Possibly the world’s first 'bling' car phone – a gold plated phone given to Telecom as a gift from NEC

  • An evolution of mobile phones.

  • Telstra’s Executive Director of Networks and Access Technologies, Mike Wright, was a graduate engineer in 1981. He oversaw the installation of the first mobile network exchange in Brisbane. “Back in 1981 I never imagined there would be more mobile devices in Australia than people, and that they could be used to watch live TV, someday feature 3D content and become a critical way to how we connect,” Wright said. “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.”

  • TV personality, John Burgess, was one of the first people in Australia to have a car phone in the early 1980s. He is pictured here with the first mobile phone in Australia powered by the country's first mobile network - 007 / PAMTS - which launched 30 years ago.

  • The first mobile phone: Motorola DynaTAC 8000X (1983)

    Motorola's DynaTAC 8000X wasn't commercially available until 1983, but its beginnings can be tracked back to 1973 when the company showed off a prototype of what would become the world's first mobile phone. The DynaTAC weighed almost a kilogram, provided one hour of battery life and stored 30 phone numbers in its phonebook. The Motorola DynaTAC is best known for bring used in the 1987 movie Wall Street, starring Michael Douglas as corporate raider Gordon Gecko.
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