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Vodafone deploys instant mobile network in Philippines disaster zone

Antony Savvas | Nov. 18, 2013
Portable network fits into four suitcases

The Vodafone Foundation Instant Network has been deployed in the Philippines to enable humanitarian workers to carry out life-saving work and for people to locate loved ones following last week's typhoon.

A Vodafone team travelled to the Philippines to deploy a network in Palo, a region 15km south of Tacloban, one of the worst affected parts of the Philippines.

The portable network, which fits into four suitcases and which weighs 100kg, can be transported on commercial flights and was sent to the country within 24 hours of the typhoon hitting.

The network has been deployed by Smart Communications with the assistance of four volunteers from Vodafone Hungary and Vodafone New Zealand, and a team from Tlcoms Sans Frontires.

The kit consists of an antenna, a foldable mast, an industrial computer and base transceiver station, with the equipment powered by generators.

The Vodafone Foundation Instant Network was also deployed in the Philippines last December during Typhoon Bopha, where almost 300,000 calls were made in 17 days.

In the last 12 months the kit has also provided support in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Andrew Dunnett, Vodafone Group director of sustainability and the Vodafone Foundation, said: "This is the second time in 12 months we have deployed the network in the Philippines. We hope it will not only provide much-needed network support for aid agencies, but will enable those people caught in the most devastated areas to connect with their loved ones outside of those areas."

Vodafone Hungary volunteers Robbyand Csaba with Instant Network
Photo credit: Vodafone Foundation


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