The Instant Network Mini was designed to cater for both the voice and SMS communications of small humanitarian field offices in areas that have been hit by disasters and may be very inaccessible. The device weighs just 11 kg (24.3 lb) and is small enough to be taken as hand luggage on commercial flights.
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If infrastructure has been damaged, however, using the existing mobile networks may not be an option. The Vodafone Foundation's Instant Network Mini is a highly portable mobile network in a backpack that can be deployed in just 10 minutes.
The Vodafone Foundation told Gizmag that the Instant Network Mini works by linking a 2G GSM base station to the host mobile network via a portable satellite unit. "Once the Mini is linked to the host mobile network, it is controlled similarly to existing base stations on the 2G network," a spokesperson explained. "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."
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