Vodafone Foundation sends network equipment to aid Nepal Earthquake victims


Operator has donated £100,000 to support relief efforts following earthquake that killed more than 3,300 people

The Vodafone Foundation has sent a team to Kathmandu Valley in Nepal to aid relief efforts and restore communications to some of the worst hit areas by last weekend’s earthquake.

A team from the philanthropic arm of the UK-based operator will deploy its Instant Mini Network solution, which it calls a “mobile network in a backpack”, to help aid workers communicate and enable people to contact their loved ones following the 7.8 magnitude quake.

The team of volunteers made up of Vodafone employees, will work alongside Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) such as Telecoms Sans Frontieres and with local operators to determine where and when to deploy equipment.

More than 3,300 people have been declared dead and 6,500 injured after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake devastated the heavily crowded Kathmandu Valley area of Nepal.

Rescuers are still struggling to reach outer villagers near the quake’s epicentre and thousands remain in open spaces in fear of after-shocks. 15 04 29 - Instant Network 1

Vodafone’s Instant Mini Network is an 11KG mobile network solution that can be carried as hand luggage on commercial flights and deployed within 10 minutes, according to Vodafone. It can connect up to five mobile phones users to global telecoms networks within a radius of 100 metres.

Vodafone also said it has a team on standby with larger, 100KG network equipment.

Vodafone Foundation director Andrew Dunnett 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.”

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Vodafone has previously deployed its solution in the Philippines during Typhoon Haiyan and in Vanuatu following Cyclone Pam in March earlier this year