80s Mobile phones
Brick mobile phones from the 80s are rapidly becoming a cult retro item. They were very expensive when new and at first used only by top executives and City traders. By the end of the decade, they were an invaluable business tool for travelling salesmen, builders and delivery drivers as well, but were out of reach for personal use for most people. The hand held mobile, as opposed to a heavy transportable essentially a handset attached to a 12v car battery, was a status symbol for Yuppies in the 80s and a source of irritation on trains and in restaurants for everyone else. Only the 2G digital phones of the 90s made today's mass mobile phone ownership possible.
The original mobile phones from the 80s were referred to as bricks, because they were as big as a house brick. In the 80s, mobile phone users were rare a sight and the size of the handset made their users stand out in a crowd. The brick size, together with their exclusivity, makes retro mobile phones from the 80s collectible today.
Buy 80s mobile phones
You can buy brick phones on eBay. Most will not work today, because they are on the old analogue system. However, it's great to own a piece of history.
If you want a phone you can use today get the Motorola 3200. It was made in the early 90s, but looks just like a brick phone from the 80s. It was the last true brick phone made and the only one to work on GSM.Motorola 3200 phones on eBay
A mobile phone is essentially a phone that uses radio waves rather than wires. Radio telephones were possible in the Second World War. However, it needed transistor technology to make them small enough to carry around. From the sixties onwards, the emergency services made use of radio telephones. The police walkie talkie was an example of a portable early radio phone. However, the range was short and few frequencies were available.
A few individuals could afford radio phones in their cars in the 70s and in the early years of the 80s. However, a very small number of channels were available and new customers had to join a waiting list. A new system, the cellular system, promised change.
The Cellular system
The purpose of the cellular system was to make best use of the limited number of channels available. To get an idea of how limited a resource the radio channels were, the Cellnet system operated jointly by BT and Securicor, initially had 300 voice channels to cover the entire network. The cellular system divided the area covered by the mobile network into cells. Each cell was adjacent to six other cells. You can think of cells as a patchwork made from hexagons.
When a call was made it went initially to a receiver/transmitter for that cell. The call was then routed via other cells or the landline network to its eventual destination. The phone needed two channels, or radio frequencies, to communicate on to send and receive voice. To avoid clashes adjacent cells could not use the same frequencies. So based on the hexagon layout, one cell could use one seventh of the available frequencies. Depending on the size of the cells, a small number of frequencies could be made to go a long way. There was an invisible handover procedure as a phone moved from one cell to another, for example a car phone in a moving vehicle.
The first UK mobile phone call
On 1 January 1985 Ernie Wise made the first cellular call in the UK on the Vodafone system operated by Racal. It was very quickly joined by the Cellnet system operated jointly by BT and Securicor. The Government played a big part in the make up of the early mobile phone network. Only two network providers were authorised, Cellnet and Vodaphone. Neither network provider could supply contracts or cell phones directly to the public. Each supported a network of independent retailers. This was meant to ensure competition. There was some debate as to whether we had a true competitive environment amongst mobile providers, especially when prices of phones plummeted in the late eighties, but charges for using the networks did not.
Some of the early mobile phone retailers were Phone Inn for Cellnet and ECT Cellular, run by Marc Albert, who at one time in his life cleaned Datsuns for a living. ECT Cellular was, in 1987, the largest independent Vodaphone service provider.
By 1986 Cellnet had 31,000 customers and Vodafone 25,000. Those customers were initially top business executives and City traders. The cost of mobile phones in those early days was prohibitively high. A Motorola 8000X, the world's first hand held mobile phone, cost 2990 [over 6000 in today's money]. The cost did not end with the phone itself, subscription charges and call charges were also high.
The hand held phone quickly became a status symbol. It was a common sight and sound in top London restaurants in the second half of the 80s, causing annoyance to other customers. Mobile phones were also making their presence felt on trains and on the streets.
The status value of the early hand held, or hand portable mobile phones, is partly illustrated by the film 'Wall Street' (1987). Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) uses a Motorola 8000X (or possibly an 8000S) whilst on the beach. Up and coming junior stock broker, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) uses public phone booths to call Gekko.
In real life, stock broker, Sean Murphy, made good use of his mobile phone and his native Gaelic tongue. After a meeting at Alan Sugar's Brentwood offices he sat back on the coach to the City listening to rival analysts discussing the results on their mobile phones. He then was able to tell fellow Irishman, Conor McEnroy, at head office that they had all revised their forecasts downwards in his native Gaelic tongue, without fellow passengers overhearing.
80s cell phone users thought little of using them on the move in their cars. A MORI survey from 1988 confirmed that over half of mobile phone users were happy to make calls whilst driving and only 12 percent were prepared to ignore incoming calls, even when driving at high speed.
Motorola DynaTAC 8000X and 8500X
The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X was manufactured in the US by Motorola. Americans got cell phones two years earlier than the UK in 1983. The Motorola 8000X was available in three colour schemes: dark grey, tan and grey or tan and white.
Dyna is derived from the Greek and means power. TAC stands for Total Area Coverage.
The slightly cheaper Motorola 8000S, introduced in 1985, had one fewer function key. In 1987 Motorola introduced the DynaTAC 8500X. This phone was more common in the UK. It added another function, a 'name' key and came in black and grey. The name key allowed the storing of callers' names. This was an advance over the 8000X. The 8500X had an alphabetic keypad to support this feature (right).
The Dynatac 8500X has larger LEDs than the 8000X or 8000S. In the US the Motorola Dynatac 8000M is more common and followed on from the Dynatac 8000S and 8000X phones. It also has larger LEDs than the 8000X and 8000S. This is the main way to tell these phones apart.
Nokia Mobira Cityman
A challenge to the dominance of Motorola came surprisingly from Finland in the early to mid 80s. The Nokia company initially manufactured paper and rubber products. More recently it branched into the manufacture of colour televisions. The first Nokia mobile phones though were branded as Mobiras.
Mobira Oy was originally a joint venture between Nokia and Salora Oy to make VHF radio equipment. Nokia bought Salora in 1984 and changed the name of Mobira Oy to Nokia-Mobira Oy.
Nokia first entered the cell phone market with a radio phone called the Mobira Senator. Nokia-Mobira also launched one of the world's first transportables, the Mobira Talkman, in 1984.
The Nokia-Mobira Cityman was a newcomer onto the handheld mobile market in 1987. Russian Head of State, Mikhail Gorbachev was handed one to receive a call in 1989, a marketing coup for Finnish firm Nokia. The Cityman used hard edge 80s styling and set the pace in design. Earlier phones by Motorola were more conservative. Their two tone look was more reminiscent of an earlier era. The Nokia Cityman was truly a phone for the 80s, a time obsessed with style and image.
Nokia originally marketed the Cityman as a Nokia-Mobira Cityman. I have seen various model numbers quoted: the Cityman 450, Cityman 900 and Cityman 1320.
Nokia's worldwide sales increased 28% in 1987 and by 1988 the Finnish firm held 13.5% of the mobile phone market. In the UK, Nokia-Mobira sales were around 9 to 10% of the total UK cell phone market.
- See also:
- Mobira Nokia Cityman
British Telecom Mobile Phone
British Telecom marketed mobile phones through a separate operation, 'BT Mobile Phones', essentially rebranding other manufacturers' mobile phones. Their first hand held mobile was the British Telcom Opal , a rebranded Motorola Dynatac 8000S. In 1986 they added the BT Pearl which was made by Mitsubishi then later the Coral by Kokusai and the Ivory, also made by a Japanese manufacturer.
Two British companies did though enter the mobile phone market, Orbitel, owned by Racal and Plessey, and Technophone.
Technophone was a company set up in 1984 by Nils Martensson, a Swedish radio engineer who left Ericsson to set up on his own in 1978. Technophone manufactured the Pocketphone, 7 inches tall, 3 inches wide and 1 inch deep: pretty small for the time. By early 1986 they were turning out 1000 pocket phones a month sold through Excell Communications as the Excell M1 and M2. Technophone was bought by Nokia in 1991.
The Pocketphone cost £1990 to buy out right or £11.99 a week to lease. The Pocketphone worked on both Cellnet and Vodaphone networks and could change networks at the push of a button.
Another challenger to Motorola's dominance was Japanese manufacture NEC (formerly the Nippon Electric Company). NEC launched the NEC 9A handheld mobile phone in the UK in Autumn 1987. It was well received by the dealers, being smaller and lighter than its rivals, as well as offering more functions. It quickly became the fastest selling hand held mobile phone. Initially the NEC 9A was relatively expensive. Only Nokia and Phillips asked for more money for a mobile handset.
With so much competition, Motorola acted to maintain its market share by cutting the cost of hand held cell phones by 20%. This action started a price war which sent the cost of basic hand held phones tumbling.
By the end of 1988 it was possible to get a basic, hand held phone for 500 [still over 1000 in today's money]. Mobile phones were still mainly a business tool, but those further down the corporate pay scale were now able to get their hands on one. Peter Waller, MD of Cellnet, claimed his window cleaner used a handheld mobile phone to take orders whilst he was up a ladder.
Cell phone use spreads
Mobile phone use caught on quickly in spite of the early high prices of the phones. By Autumn 1986 there were 100,000 UK customers. Recal-Vodaphone had taken the lead from Cellnet. By Summer 1987 there were 200,000 UK mobile phone customers. Cellnet refused to disclose numbers, but it was clear that Vodaphone was ahead.
As mobile phone use spread, more business users were able to take advantage of the new technology. Cell phones became useful for travelling salesmen and delivery drivers. However, these people had to be content with a car phone or transportable, essentially a handset attached to a 12v car battery. The hand held mobile was still highly praised. Even as late as 1990, the then England Football Team Manager Bobby Robson's purchase of a Nokia Cityman made the news.
London taxi cabs got mobile phones in May 1987, supplied by Capital Taxiphone, which was backed by Racal-Vodaphone. In October 1987 National Express coaches were equipped with mobile phones. They also appeared as mobile payphones on InterCity trains. From 1988 it was possible to make mobile payphone calls from aeroplanes using BT's Skyphone service. Skyphone used INMSRSAT and communicated directly with BTI's Goonhilly Earth Station.
Mobile phones had become an invaluable business tool by the end of the 80s, but the analogue cellular network could only accommodate comparatively few subscribers. It needed the introduction of the 2G digital network for mass ownership to become a reality.
In the 80s, pundits thought mobile phones would get smaller. Many thought that they would follow the example of pocket calculators and shrink to the size of a wristwatch or credit card.
Motorola regained their advantage in the mobile market at the end of the 80s with the MicroTAC 9800X introduced in 1989. This was the world's first flip phone, a precursor of the modern clamshell. The aerial popped out when the phone was opened. It was not actually functional, but market research showed people liked an aerial.
Other ways to get mobile in the 80s
The Official British Yuppie Handbook shows a Yuppie gent in a suit holding a beige phone with an aerial. It is cordless phone, not a true mobile phone. The original gadget-obsessed Yuppies bought cordless phones before mobile phones became available. Improvements in technology meant that cordless phones became cheaper in the 80s. By 1985 the £100 price barrier was broken. In 1986 you could buy a Uniden cordless phone for £99.95; Dixons retailed the CSI 2200 for £84.99 and Comet the Betacom C1000 for £89.95.
There was talk of using cordless phone technology to produce a basic mobile phone for the general public, but it never caught on.
The Novaphone was a cross between a cell phone and a pager. The Novaphone had a car phone which could be contacted from anywhere in the world, but could only make a number of pre-programmed outgoing calls. The pager was a small pocket device that you could take with you when out of the car. If you were still in range, the pager would receive a signal from the car phone. If you received a call on the car phone, it would page you and you could either hold the call until you got back to the car, or have it transferred to another preset number.
A mobile for the shower?
Can you use a mobile phone in the shower? You could probably use this one! This sponge mobile phone was made by Boots the Chemist in the late 80s. Looking at the keypad it is actually replica of a cordless phone, but it was probably meant to be a mobile.
Can you use a retro mobile phone today?
The short answer is no. All the phones featured in this article use the original analogue cellular system and will not work on today's networks. None will accept a modern SIM card. However, there was some overlap in design when the 2G digital system came in. The Motorola 3200 for example, looks very similar, although not identical, to the 8000 and 8500 series phones made in the 80s. It does work on the new system. Later versions of the Motorola MicroTAC also work on the new GSM system.
There are also modern retro style phones available that work on the GSM system. They look like some of the earlier Motorola phones, but are much lighter.
More on retro mobile phones
The definitive mobile phone history site - Mobile phone history.
There is a Wikipedia article about the Motorola Dyantac 8000X - see Motorola Dyantac 8000X on Wikipedia
There is a pictorial history of Nokia phones from 1982 to 2004 on this Nokia mobile phones timeline. This timeline also covers the Technophone, which became a Nokia brand in 1991, as well as the Nokia and Mobira Cityman mobile phones.
There were mobile phone in the 60s see: Retro mobile phone.
Your comments on 80s retro mobile phones
"During a recent trip up to the loft I came across my old NEC 204844-1A it worked when I put it in the loft in the 80's how would I go about selling it or how much do you think it would be worth. Thanks for your time." Idris
Hi Idris, There is a strong market for 80s mobile phones on eBay. I would recommend doing a search through completed listings on eBay to find out how much it is worth. Retrowow
"Hi Am Doing A Project On The 80s And This Infomation Is Very Helpful Thank You" Joe Ireland
"I had one of these... the memories it brought back reading your page. Thanks." Dave Morgan
"ehmmmmm when was the first fone call made !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Liam
Hi Liam, The first private hand held mobile phone call was made by Dr Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1983. The first UK mobile phone call was made by Ernie Wise on 1 January 1985. There were car phones and mobile phones going back to the sixties. See retro mobile phone. The first ever telephone call was made in 1876, by Alexander Graham Bell, see www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/jb/recon/telephone_1 Retrowow
"Sorry to burst the celebrity bubble of Ernie Wise making the first cellular call on 1st January 1985 - As Beta testers we were using them from December 24th 1984 as part of the final test regime for the first Cellnet site on the Post office (BT) Tower."
"I recall taking myself to first Wrotham Hill , then Detling Hill to determine the max range of this first cellsite that was 'top hating' London with the first TACS cells using the GO-Phone 2000 badged NEC 'Banana phone' with the first two allocated phone numbers to BT Securicor 0860 326000 and 326002. We have come a long way in 25 years...." John
"i was wondering if anyone could tell me what year the nec 204844-1a mobile phone was made" karen chapman
Hi Karen, Sorry I don't know. If you can send me a picture of it, I might have a better idea. Retrowow
"How can I get hold of one of these Excell mobiles, I had one in the eighties cost about 1500 was on cellnet can you get one to use with a modern chip on vodafone ??? Cheers Gareth" Gareth Gee
Hi Gareth, They are very rare. I've seen a couple on eBay. They sell for £100+. Unfortunately, they do not work on the modern GSM network. Retrowow
"phones in the 80s were awesome so original should bring them back" hannah
"Hello Steven. What an amazing site. - I have an BT Branded Motorola DynaTAC 8000S. I've been trawling the web & ebay but can't seem to find past or present sales. I'd be most grateful if you're able to help with a valuation. Keep up the sterling work Sir !" James
Hi James, The BT 8000S sells for £80 to £100 on eBay. Condition plays a part. A really scruffy example might be worth less. An absolute mint one more. Retrowow
"Hi i have a brand new boxed Motorola 8900-2 its still in the box complete with all the stuff and a 1984 tariff were can i sell it?" Wayne Turner
Hi Wayne, eBay is the best place to sell the phone. Expect to make from £20 to £60. Retrowow
"Great site! I had an NEC 9A around 1993 on the Vodafone network, and the other day bought an iPhone; things have certainly changed!" Horeslover Fat
"Hi I own a Mobira Talkman hand held transportable mobile phone, one of the very first transportable phones available.
I have had this from new and still have the chargers and instruction book. I am considering selling or putting up for auction. Do you know of any specialist auctioneers or museums. Thanks, John." John Baylay 28/08/2010
"Was it possible to make international calls using a mobile during the eighties?" Dave Parry 30/09/2010
Maybe you can help me, we are having a "vintage phone contest" with some friend, and some points will be given to the most expensive phone back in time.
Does anyone knows the price of the microtac 5200 international (1994) when it was sold new ?
tom4" tom4 19/02/2011
"Have an old Philips PR60 with Mains Charger and Car Charger, in good condition
What is the Value of this" Roger Parsonage 02/06/2011
"Hi, can you help? I have a Phillips MCR40 Transportable Phone from 1989/90 c/w handbook, charger and bag. I cannot find any information about this phone anywhere? Is it rare? Is it worth anything? Thanks." Keith 07/06/2011
You got a photo you can email?
I'd be interested to see what it looks like! Is it the all white one?
thanks Mark" Mark 08/07/2011
Wondering if anyone knows when NEC 204844-1A phones were made?
S" S Gadsby 29/08/2011
"i have old vintage cell phone i think, old diamond tel,mitsubishi electric co.ser#9508247 how old is it?" robert 05/01/2012
"I WANT TO BUY CLASSIC CELLPHONE TO USE .BUT I CANT FIND IN IRAN . I LOVE SIMON BY IBM . PLEASE HELP ME TO FIND THIS .
THANKS" SAMAN RAHIMI 17/01/2012
"What a brilliant website! Please keep up the good work. Brings all the memories of first generation cellular mobiles back. I remember moving to north Kent back in 1989 to get a job and sometimes people would be sitting on the train with a mobile phone and I was in awe. One day a regular guy who I always saw constantly talking into his phone dropped it on the platform and it broke in two... It was a dummy phone, just a shell!!! I bet the fake phone cost more than a real one does now.
My first mobile was on the Cellnet network and it was a BT badged 'Pearl' handset. There was an advert in The Independent newspaper and I reckoned I could afford it. It was 1993 and I was still trying to live the yuppie dream. Calls were 50p/min weekdays and 20p/min evenings and weekends. The payphone in the hall at my lodgings was 54p/minute to Scotland at all times so even on a weekday the mobile phone was marginally cheaper. I can remember my number even now, 0850 276787. Wish I had kept the BT Pearl handset as a memento!!!
Miceal" Miceal Tyre 08/03/2012
Thanks for your comments. If you are interested in more information about vintage mobile phones have a look at my new site www.mobilephonehistory.co.uk
There is a section on BT mobile phones, soon to be expanded.
Are you sure the phone was a Pearl, by the way. The BT Pearl was a Mitsubishi Roamer, a phone from 1986. There is a picture of a woman using one on this page, half way down:
best regards" Steven 08/03/2012
"Ernie Wise and Beta testers! The BT Cellnet system was switched on in the autumn of 84 for one week to cover Maggie hosting a G7 summit in central London before its true launch in Jan 85. I was there had a motorola carphone in my car on the Monday morning and had arranged 12 appointments to pre-sell them to existing radiophone(system 4) users. I mad the first commercial call and sold the first commercial phone at 7.00 am. Also what does Marc washing datsuns have to do with anything - he still walked away with a £11M cheque!" Stuart 28/05/2012
"Hi I have an excell technophone m2 and looking to sell its in it's original box with manual all leads and both aerials does anyone no how much it could be worth" Liz chapman 07/06/2012
"Hello, i have just been looking in my loft and found an motorola 6800x mobile phone, i have been trying to find out about it and how much it is worth but cant seem to find anything could you please advise me on where to find information about it and how much it is worth
Thanks for your time." Luke 18/08/2012
"Ive got a motorola 5000x in original shoulder carry bag. cant seem to find much about it on internet. So any info would be appreciated :-)" tracey 30/08/2012
"I"ve got a late 80"s Mitsubishi phone c/w charger. Its the very large type complete with carrying handle and flex. I remember swapping it for a 8500 motorola because the phone rang louder than Big Ben!. I charged it up at the weekend after spending 2 decades in the loft and the display came on and the speaker worked too. I"ve tried to find some info on the phone but nothing. Anybody know anything about it? Value? Thanks." mark Tyson. 02/10/2012
Have a look at my other site www.mobilephonehistory.co.uk. I'm guessing this is a Mitsubishi Roamer. See http://www.mobilephonehistory.co.uk/other/mitsubishi_roamer.php
best regards" Steven 04/10/2012
"Thanks Steven, had a look at the Mitsubishi roamer. Its definately not one of those, mine does look a bit like the motorola unit, but its definately mitsubishi, and so is the charger." mark Tyson. 04/10/2012
Yes I know the earlier BT Pearl you are talking about but mine was defintely also badged as a BT Pearl but a much later 1G handset than the rebadged Roamer. I have just found a photo on eBay of one like mine complete with the instruction book which says 'BT Pearl Cellphone User Guide' on the front. Email me if you want a copy of the pic :)
Best regards," Miceal Tyre 01/11/2012
Thanks for sharing that with me. You are absolutely right. BT must have recycled the name. I've found this picture, http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=bt+pearl+phone&_sacat=0&_odkw=bt+pearl&_osacat=0&_from=R40
the catalogue also shows, a BT Roamer, also a different phone. There were several variations of this.
The Pearl looks like rebadged Motorola flip phone without the flip.
best regards" Steven 03/11/2012
"In 1986 I was using a Motorola DynaTac 8000x as the portable unit of a 6000XL.
The 8000x which transmitted 1.5 watts when portable was pushing out 3 watts while installed in the car using some linear amplifier which was a part of the 6000XL.installation.
The telephone was used "Hands Free" and the battery of the 8000x was charged while driving and using the system.
The 8000x needed to be in the charger/holder in order to operate in the car using the 6000xl handset.
Regards." Pierre 02/12/2012
"Hi, in my loft I found a nokia mobira mobile radio type ME 51T. I have only found one phone like it on ebay that is offered for £200 but not been sold. I wondered if you could tell me approx what it might be worth please? I have plugged in the power box and it works and turns the phone on, although the phone is locked. Any help would be appreciated - I have photos of it that I could send. Thank you" Kirsty Hall 03/02/2013
"Hi Kirsty, I'm not familiar with that model. I'm guessing it is large phone with a separate receiver attached. These type of phones usually go for £50 to £100 on eBay. Some sellers are way too optimistic! Best regards" Steven 03/02/2013
"can you tell me what the price is for old brick mobile phones? and the first ever motorola ones ?" louise 17/02/2013
"Hi Louise, It depends on the phone. The Motorola 8000X will cost about £600. But you can get some phones from the 80s for as little as £20. The 8500X which was pretty common in the UK would cost from £50 to £100. Best regards" Steven 18/02/2013
"Hi i have a motorola 6800x transportable ! and a nokia cityman and Motorola 8500x ( i think ) all good nice conditions looking to sell ASAP, do you know were to sell etc your help would be appreciated. regards" steve 26/02/2013
"looking for moto 9800x flip
and 8000x moto. please email or call if u can be of assistance. 801-888-1800" darin 23/03/2013
"I finally tracked down the Mitsubishi phone Mark Tyson mentioned on this page. It sounds like a Mitsubishi MT-3 from 1989. best regards" steven 27/05/2013
"I worked for vodafone from 1985-1999 including setting up the first ever shop in a motorway service station. Just clearing out my cellar and have a number of phones never used - in boxes( boxes rather tatty) including nokia communicator several Ericsson portables, Hitachi portable in leather case, Panasonic Portable, TDK GSM DATA KITS PDQ Machine - is there anywhere that is likely to by a a job lot or who you suggest listing separately on ebay." julia 15/11/2013
"Hi Julia, Listing separately on eBay will probably get you the most money, but will be more time consuming. You could try a job lot on eBay, I would expect you would get less for as the overall price. The Nokia Communicator is worth listing on its own if it is a 9000 or 9000i, these do well. Some Buy it Nows have sold for over £600, but auction value is around £100. Best regards" steven 16/11/2013
"I've just found an old bt ivory mobile that I've had for a good few years now I forgot I even had it !
Any idea how much these fetch on eBay? Tried looking on there but there are none listed
Am I right in thinking that these are quite rare?
Many thanks & regards
Scott" Scott 20/11/2013
"Hi Scott, The BT Ivory phone from 1989 sells occasionally on eBay, but doesn't make big bucks. It should be worth about £20. Best regards" steven 20/11/2013
"motorola tac 7500 does it work on o2 an text" desmond 1966 26/11/2013
"Hello do you know where I can get hold of a bt freelance 100 or 200 old cordless phone from please
thanks joe Teasdale" joe teasdale 09/01/2014
"Hi Steven im looking for a bt freelance 100 200 or freelance 2, old cordless phones do you know where I could find one please I keep trying the web and ebay with no luck
thanks joe Teasdale" joe teasdale 11/01/2014
"Hi does anyone know where I can get hold of a bt freelance 100 200 and freelance 2 cordless phones they are rare and im having a job finding them thanks" joe teasdale 22/01/2014
I have recently come across my first mobile bought for me by my husband back in the 80's. I opened it Christmas morning and put it back in the box and its been in the loft ever since. I have never even turned it on!!
I don't know if its worth anything to anyone, or how to go about finding out info about it. Its called a Motorola Traveller and has a carry case, aerial, car charger, battery and the phone. It also has a card with the dealers name on.
Any info from you would be much appreciated.
Many thanks, Sonia." Sonia Hemmings 04/02/2014
It sounds like a transportable phone. These were more like car phones without the car. You carried around a handset and a bulkier phone unit. best regards Steven" Steven 09/02/2014
I own some of the bricks, as I am trying to establish a public mobile phones museum here in Slovakia.
Of course you can donate some older phones or printed material, accessories... Or just chat with someone passionate aboud older phones & bricks. facebook.com/MuzeumMobilov
Rusnak" Peter Chomanič 26/02/2014
"Hi I have a motorola 8000x from 1985 with ariel original leather case ,and charger I am thinking of selling ,have you any idea of its value ?thanks paul" Paul byworth 07/06/2014
"They are worth from £300 to £500. A few years ago they sold for upwards of £1000, but because these phones are not that rare, that value was never sustainable. I have a complete value guide on my other site www.mobilephonehistory.co.uk best regards" Steven 07/06/2014
"Hi my dad has a Philip MCR40 like new in the original bag with instructions. Just wondering how much it's worth and how to sell. Thanks" Gemma fletcher 19/07/2014
"Hello. I enjoyed your website. I have a NEC9A in it's original box, everything still in it's polythene wrappers and polystyrene blocks, instruction book, charger, aerial, batteries, leatherette case the lot! Happy to part with it if the price was right! Thanks." Haydn 18/08/2014
"Hi does anyone know where i can get a bt freelance 100 code 870516 and a bt freelance ll code 870460 from please? they are rare" joe teasdale 06/09/2014
"Hello i have a Nokia (mobira) talkman 450 fully operating cell phone.
With 12v cigarette charger and 230w charger.
The battery is not charging anymore but the phone does work and look pretty and minor weare and tare.
I see Phones of this kind on ebay is selling for insane prices - and they do not work or is compete..
How much is my phone worth???" Anders hauklien 26/10/2014
"I have an original M2 technophone hand portable pocketphone (the original pocketphone)from about late 87.Do these have any value nowadays." J Harrison 12/11/2014
"i am looking for a charger for a motorola transportable 6500x it has the three pin mains plug on 1 end of the first lead and a 2 pin plug on other end of the charger in the middle there is a square block can you help me and id so what is the price" richard evenden 18/12/2014
"Hi, I have a Motorola MR1 fully boxed (inc plastic wrappers etc, instruction cassette, desk charger, battery all in pefect working order. Even the box is near perfect. Any idea of the value if I wanted to sell it ? Any info would be appreciated.
Many thanks" Rob 21/12/2014
One with a box and charger sold on eBay for just £10 recently, but they can fetch up to £40. best regards" Steven 22/12/2014
"Motorola traveller... I have read they are collactable.. Any idea how much one is worth.. ??" steve 01/01/2015
"i have a boxed vodafone racal transportable kit unopened still with original packaging how much would it be worth please" julie 13/01/2015
"I have my original mobira phone i bought in 1985/6 also a brick phone i bought as its replacement. Both are complete with chargers and car fitting kits. I keep reading that these are in demand so what are likely to be worth?" David 13/01/2015
"I have a mint condition Phillips connect brick mobile with case charger and sim with plastic cover on sim is it worth selling !!!" Debs 25/08/2015
"hi i have fully boxed panasonic racal mains kit complete with everything instructions booklets and carry case all adaptors and antennas can you tell me how much this could be worth and where the best place to sell it is or get advice kind regards julie" julie 29/10/2015
eBay is the best place to sell. Look through completed listings to see how much similar items sold for. It is going to be worth from £10 to £30.
best regards" Steven 01/11/2015
"I have a Philips cellular Phone Type AP4000 purchased around 1987.I can find no reference to this anywhere.
Can anyone help" Terry Bagnall 24/11/2015
"You forgot the ill fated Rabbit mobile system where the users had to stand very close to the transmitter. A bit like a public cordless phone." Peter 28/01/2016
"Hi everyone I have a BT CMH-400 mobile cellular handset for sell in magnificent condition with box dose anyone know where the best place to sell it
many thanks" Simon Haffenden 21/02/2016
"Hi, great informative site,
Can anyone help me , I have a Vodafone ME50T (fist mobile I believe ) in great condition, I was wondering what price I could expect on eBay, as I've seen nothing of that ilk lately,
John" John curry 16/10/2016
"Did Marc have a phone shop at Caledonian Road,Kings Cross?- that`s where I bought a Motorola 8800x and Nokia Cityman in the late 80s." John 16/03/2017
"this article was really helpful." jtgregory 13/12/2017
"rock n roll" jtgregory 13/12/2017
"THIS ARTICLE WAS VERY VERY HELPFUL.IT HELPED ME LEARN ALOT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY BACK THEN." GOO GOO GAGA 27/02/2018
"When was this article published?" Gabriel Pacheco 23/05/2018
"December 2008. Best regards" Steven 26/05/2018
"We loved this article! With love from Foggybottom! :D" Steven & Kev 09/01/2019
"Helped me write my decades project." Karissa 09/04/2019
In the 1980s I knew (and worked closely with Marc Albert of ECT Cellular.
I lost track of Marc over the years and was wondering if you or any of those following this link know where Marc is now and how to reach him.
Please email me at TheWazAz@gmail.com with any info you may have. Thanks" Mike Nasco 20/09/2019
I Buy dynatac 8800x. On the "locked" screen ..
Are there standard codes or individually?" Agris 17/12/2019
"Hi there, I am trying to track down a 1980s era cellular car phone -specifically the one marketed by Unipart (for Austin Rover car owners) and using the Uniqueair network.
Can anyone help? Does anyone have memories of these phones, maybe a leaflet/brochure?
email@example.com" Andrew 10/05/2020
"Hi there I've got an old Phillip's cellnet mobile in the box with everything and even a cover for it.
Plz contact me if interested.
firstname.lastname@example.org" Jillian Mearns 17/05/2020