Believe it or not, today marks the 25th anniversary of the first call ever made in Kerala. The well-known writer, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, aka Thakazhi, was the first person to make the call on September 17, 1996. The person who picked up Thakazhi’s call was, none other than, A R Tandon, the then Vice-Admiral of the Indian Navy. The phone used? You guessed it right – A Nokia mobile phone.
Kerala saw the launch of its first-ever mobile phone service at Avenue Regent Hotel in Kochi by Escotel Mobile Communications Ltd. It was a memorable moment because communicating with loved ones took a good turn forever. While owning a mobile phone was a luxury during that time, it was a historic moment to be known as the state with a mobile service. An outgoing call cost INR 16.80, while an incoming call was priced at INR 8.40.
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Escotel Mobile Communications Ltd was one of the largest cellular operators in the country that brought in this revolutionary service. They launched in India in 1995 with West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu inaugurating the launch. Before Kerala, they were the leading cellular service operator in UP (West) and Haryana. Over the years, though, competitors came into the market and broke the monopoly.
If we look at the evolution of mobile phones, we’d be stunned by how much we’ve progressed. Today is definitely an iconic day to be remembered. The first call made In Kerala literally changed lives.