Udayavni Special

25 years since first phone call that started mobile telephony in India


Team Udayavani, Aug 1, 2020, 12:25 PM IST

Mumbai: July 31 is one of the most significant day in the history of India. On this day the first mobile phone call was made in the country.

On July 31, 1995, Jyoti Basu, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, made the call to Sukh Ram, then Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

This call made from Kolkata to New Delhi was made using a Nokia mobile phone. The mobile network service provider was Modi Telstra, which was owned by a joint venture of India’s BK Modi Group and Telstra Corporation Limited from Australia.

An astonishing aspect of these maiden mobile phone calls was that one had to spend Rs 8.4 per minute for the calls for both outgoing and incoming calls.

Moreover, dynamic pricing applied to the calls. During peak call hours when the call traffic was high, call rates could go up as much as Rs 16.8 per minute.

Presently, there are more than 114 crores wireless telephone subscribers in India and increasing every day. In terms of mobile device users, India ranks second after China.

The number of mobile phone subscribers more than doubled after Mukesh Ambani started Reliance Jio introducing free calls and cheap Internet connectivity.

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