MDS Global began life in 1985, when entrepreneur Martin Dawes recognised the potential of emerging cellular technologies and service provision models, and launched Martin Dawes Telecommunications Ltd (MDT), a mobile virtual network operator that sold to both consumers and enterprises.
MDT was truly innovative, supplying mobile phones and services that used the networks of both UK operators at the time: BT Cellnet and Vodafone. All contracts were MDT-branded, as were many of the phones.
In the early years, growth was slow due to the prohibitive cost of phones. However, as MDT’s subscriber base grew beyond 10,000, it became clear that the business could not depend on the billing bureau service offered by the networks, as they were far too slow and cumbersome. There were no viable BSS vendors in the market at the time, so in 1987, MDT decided to develop its own in-house billing system. A small team of software engineers were hired and subsequently laid the foundations for Martin Dawes Systems.