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My First Phone

Alkatel One Touch Barclaycard On Cellnet (1997)

My first mobile phone along with my first credit card and credit card sized SIM! The Alkatel One Touch was promoted by Barclaycard and had a feature that allowed you to check your balance by using the big blue button. There was no mobile Internet at the time so I can only assume that the information was sent via SMS.

While you could send SMS messages on this phone you typed using the number pad hitting each number multiple times to reach the character you wanted.

As I remember text messages were quite expensive and so it was generally cheaper to phone someone and talk to them for a few minutes than to send messages back and forth.

The inconvenience of typing on a number pad along with the price per text meant that this was typically used for making actual phone calls.

Ring “tones” were a series of beeps, there was no concept of playing music nor watching video on the monochrome LCD display.