The Vodafone Foundation has agreed a three-year partnership with with disaster relief agency Télécoms Sans Frontières. TSF specialises in bringing wireless communications to affected areas, helping humanitarian relief agencies coordinate their efforts and enabling displaced families to call their loved ones.
As well as giving TSF €1 million towards its costs, Vodafone will also provide the agency with equipment and technical support in emergency situations. It’s worked with Huawei to develop a prototype portable GSM network that can be set up in less than 40 minutes to handle free local calls among relief workers. The instant network works independently from any other network, offering voice and SMS services to 500 users.
Andrew Dunnett, Director of the Vodafone Foundation, said “Once a disaster has occurred it is important to get a communications network up and running as quickly as possible to accelerate the benefits of aid relief. We want to use our expertise and our experience to help Télécoms Sans Frontières empower both aid workers and victims in disaster zones across the world. This trial is a good example of how Vodafone and the Vodafone Foundation are determined to bring more than just money to the partnership.”