Vodafone Foundation Instant Network team is preparing to deploy Instant Network equipment in Guadeloupe to connect rescue workers and to enable affected families to contact their relatives. The deployment of Instant Network 3G will provide connectivity, supporting the humanitarian relief programme, while Instant Charge will 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 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 the nearest island to the areas worst affected by Hurricane Irma, including St Martin, St Barts and Barbuda.
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.