Vodafone Foundation’s Backpack Is a Mobile Network on the Go

Have you ever wanted to have a mobile network that never fails on you, no matter where you go? Vodafone’s Instant Network is exactly that, and on top of everything, you can carry it in a backpack.

The paradox of mobile networks is that despite the whole wireless communication, we are restrained in a certain area, and leaving it will result in our inability to communicate due to the signal dropping. That’s very unfortunate, because sometimes there arise emergency situations while in a no signal area. Vodafone Foundation’s Instant Network was particularly built with emergency situations in mind, when the infrastructure is either inexistent or has been damaged.

The Instant Network Mini offers support for both voice and SMS communications, and could prove to be life-saving in the case of natural or man-made disasters. If you want to see another bright side of this portable network, whoever carries the backpack will also get the chance to work his or her muscles, as the devices weighs no less than 11 kg (24.3 lb). Still, the Mini is very compact (otherwise it wouldn’t fit in a backpack, now would it?), so it could also play the role of hand baggage on commercial flights, provided that TSA’s regulations have nothing against it. Anyway, I don’t think that in the case of a disaster TSA’s regulations would matter that much anymore.

A spokesperson of the company explained that “Once the Mini is linked to the host mobile network, it is controlled similarly to existing base stations on the 2G network. The satellite and base station units are powered by an internal battery, but can also be powered via mains, or generator, electricity, 12 V from a car lighter or by using the included solar panel.”

Vodafone’s portable network works in an area measuring up to 100 meters (328 ft) in radius, and can sustain up to 5 simultaneous phone calls. Best of all, Vodafone made sure that setting up the network is as intuitive as possible, and that no technological know-how is necessary.

Furthermore, the spokesperson stated that “Collaboration with partner providers is essential for the Vodafone Foundation to provide support in all countries in times of humanitarian need, including, when required by those countries, areas in which Vodafone does not operate. We have most recently collaborated with SMART in the Philippines to provide support after Typhoon Haiyan.”

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