Vodafone to Deploy Temporary Network in Southern Sudan

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The Vodafone Foundation has today announced that it will deploy its portable mobile phone network in the largest refugee camp in South Sudan enabling 70 000 refugees to contact relatives for free.

The deployment will be carried out in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

A team from the Vodafone Foundation will travel from Kenya to set up the Instant Network - a mobile phone network which fits in to three suitcases, weighs less than 100kg and can be transported on commercial flights - in the Yida camp in Unity State.

In 2012, the Vodafone Foundation Instant Network was deployed to provide communications during severe droughts in Kaikor, Northern Kenya and in Davao Oriental in the Philippines following Typhoon Bopha. In both cases, the equipment was set up within 40 minutes.

The Vodafone Foundation Instant Network deployment in South Sudan will operate in partnership with Vodafone's mobile network partner Zain,  and will include the distribution of handsets and the provision of free airtime to aid workers across the 3,000-acre refugee camp for a period of six months.

The Vodafone Foundation Instant Network mission to South Sudan will also include an assessment of a larger permanent refugee camp one hour's drive from Yida to look at the potential for deploying the equipment to support a range of education programmes.

Separately, Vodafone Group's subsidiary in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Vodacom Congo, has today announced a commitment to support 17,000 refugees at the Mugunga Camp in North Kivu Province, Goma. Vodacom Congo has launched a text message donation service called Alerte Rouge in which funds will be raised to meet basic emergency needs such as the purchase of food, tents, blankets and mosquito nets. A team from the Vodafone Foundation is currently in the DRC exploring deploying the Instant Network in the Mugunga camp in the near-term and will assess the potential for setting up education programmes based on mobile devices.

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