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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

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that 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).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of September 2020, we have 5G in 54 locations in the UK and 193 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

In September 2020, leading mobile benchmarking company, umlaut, named Vodafone as London’s best network for 5G. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population. And in October 2020, Vodafone was named Network Provider of the Year by readers of leading technology advice website, Trusted Reviews.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. 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.

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

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