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Press Release | 29 Apr 2015

VODAFONE FOUNDATION INSTANT NETWORK TEAM DEPLOYED TO NEPAL

VODAFONE FOUNDATION INSTANT NETWORK TEAM DEPLOYED TO NEPAL

The Vodafone Foundation Instant Network Mini has been taken to the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal to help restore communications to some of the areas worst affected by the recent earthquake.

  • Vodafone Foundation Instant Network team now in Kathmandu and preparing to deploy Instant Network equipment to connect rescue workers and relatives
  • First-ever deployment of Instant Network Mini ‘network in a backpack’
  • Vodafone’s philanthropic arm supports relief effort with £100,000 donation

The Vodafone Foundation Instant Network Mini, a portable ‘mobile network in a backpack’, has been taken to the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal to help restore communications to some of the areas worst affected by last weekend’s earthquake.

The Instant Network Mini, an 11kg mobile network in a backpack which can be set up in just 10 minutes, has arrived in Kathmandu with the Instant Network team leader on a commercial flight. The Instant Network team will offer support to local operators to help restablish mobile communications, helping aid workers communicate during the relief effort and enabling people to contact their loved ones following the devastating earthquake.

The Vodafone Foundation has a team of volunteers, all Vodafone employees, on standby to deploy additional Instant Network equipment, including the larger, 100kg Vodafone Foundation Instant Network – a mobile network in four suitcases which can be taken on a commercial flight – as well as a new 3G version of the Instant Network.

The team, working alongside NGO Télécoms Sans Frontières, is currently awaiting instruction from the local operators and NGOs working in Nepal as to when and where the equipment should be deployed. The equipment will be deployed once the scope of the mission is confirmed.

The Instant Network Mini is a robust backpack that can be taken as hand luggage on commercial flights and deployed by non-technical staff.  Instant Network Mini can connect up to five mobile phone users to global telecoms networks within a radius of 100 metres and enable text messages to be sent to thousands of people to provide crucial information following a disaster.

The larger Vodafone Foundation Instant Network is light enough to travel in the back of a car or on commercial flights, enabling a quick response to disasters. Consisting of an antenna, a foldable mast, an industrial computer and base transceiver station, the equipment is powered by generators and can provide coverage within a radius of one kilometre. The Vodafone Foundation Instant Network was deployed in the Philippines in November 2013 during Typhoon Haiyan, where over 443,000 calls were made and 1.4 million SMS were sent in 29 days.

The Vodafone Foundation has also announced that it has made a donation of £100,000 to the UK Disaster Emergency Appeal (DEC) to support the relief effort in Nepal.

This is the second time in two months that the Vodafone Foundation has responded with emergency telecommuncations support in the aftermath of a natural disaster.  In March, a team of volunteers deployed to Tanna Island, Vanuatu, where they supported humanitarian calling operations to those affected by Cyclone Pam.

Andrew Dunnett, Vodafone Foundation Director, said:  “Establishing communications in the aftermath of a natural disaster is crucial, both for the coordination of aid and to enable those affected to reconnect with family and friends.  Through our Instant Network programme, we are able to deploy our people and our technology to provide communications support at a critical time.”

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text message, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. We now have 5G in more places than anyone else, with multiple locations now live across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Today we serve more than 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%.  Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards – for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Connectivity is at the heart of what we do as it gives us a huge opportunity for good. We are using our network, products, talents and technology to help society prosper and respond to significant social and environmental issues.  Our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families and schools across the UK to navigate the online world safely. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation’s work with researchers at Imperial College is developing personalised cancer treatment using the processing power of smartphones.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest technology communications companies, with mobile operations in 26 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.  As of 30 September 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 625 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers, and 22 million TV customers – including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk

 

Vodafone UK Media Relations

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Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

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