Vodafone Foundation team deployed to area devastated by Hurricane Irma
Vodafone Foundation Instant Network team preparing to deploy Instant Network equipment in Guadeloupe to connect rescue workers and to enable affected families to contact their relatives
Deployment of Instant Network 3G to provide connectivity, supporting the humanitarian relief programme
Instant Charge to provide free mobile charging to communities in areas with no power
The Vodafone Foundation Instant Network is being taken to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe to provide communications support in the areas worst affected by Hurricane Irma.
The Instant Network team will offer support to local operators and will work alongside NGO Télécoms Sans Frontières to help re-establish mobile communications, helping aid workers communicate during the relief effort and enabling people to contact their loved ones following the devastating hurricane.
The Vodafone Foundation team is coordinating with local operators and NGOs working in Guadeloupe to determine when and where the Instant Network equipment should be deployed. Guadeloupe is close to the areas worst affected by Hurricane Irma, including St Martin, St Barts and Barbuda.
The Vodafone Foundation has a team of volunteers, all Vodafone employees, on standby to deploy: Instant Network 3G, a mobile network in four suitcases with 3G connectivity which can be taken on a commercial flight; two Instant Charge devices - an outdoor mobile charging station which provides 66 charging points; and Instant Classroom Xtra, the Vodafone Foundation's 'digital school in a box', which is being repurposed to create an emergency cybercafe to enable communities to contact their loved ones and to support the humanitarian relief programme. The victims of Hurricane Irma will be able to use the emergency cybercafes to borrow tablets, charge their phones for free and connect to free WiFi.
The Vodafone Foundation Instant Network 3G equipment 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.
This will be the eleventh emergency response mission for the Vodafone Foundation Instant Network team.
The Instant Network was deployed in Nepal during the 2015 earthquake and in the Philippines in November 2013 during Typhoon Haiyan, where over 443,000 calls were made and 1.4 million SMS were sent. A total of 2.9m calls were made using Instant Network in the Philippines, Kenya and South Sudan
Instant Charge has recently been deployed in refugee camps, including in Lesbos and Samos Islands in Greece, where 84,600 devices were connected. Instant Classroom is currently benefiting thousands of children and teenagers in schools in refugee camps across sub-Saharan Africa.
Andrew Dunnett, Vodafone Foundation Director, said: “Through our Instant Network programme, we are able to deploy our people and our technology to provide communications support at a critical time. Ensuring people are able to communicate 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".
Notes to Editors
Pictures of the Instant Network and previous deployments can be viewed here:
Pictures of Vodafone Foundation Instant Classroom can be downloaded here:
For further information
Vodafone Group, Media Relations
Telephone: +44 (0) 7919 990 230
About Vodafone Group
Vodafone Group is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone Group has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 49 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets. As of 30 June 2017, Vodafone Group had 523.5 million mobile customers and 18.5 million fixed broadband customers, including India and all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.
About Vodafone Foundation
The Vodafone Foundation's Connecting for Good programme combines Vodafone's charitable giving and technology to make a difference in the world. Globally, the Vodafone Foundation supports projects that are focused on delivering public benefit through the use of mobile technology across the areas of health, education and disaster relief. The Vodafone Foundation invests in the communities in which Vodafone operates and is at the centre of a network of global and local social investment programmes. The Vodafone Foundation is a UK registered charity, registered charity number 10989625.