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Disaster Recovery: When your restore the mobile network you rebuild the human network

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Sustainable Cities and Communities

Team Rubicon UK recruits, trains, equips, and deploys veterans to aid in disaster response operations. The organisation is designed to bridge the gap between disasters and large-scale aid, giving returning veterans a renewed sense of purpose, community and identity after their time in the military. In 2015 Team Rubicon were deployed to assist with aid efforts in Nepal after the major earthquake killed and injured thousands of civilians.

Mobile broadband connectivity is core to Team Rubicon’s capability. It enables them to gather information and prioritise emergency aid and support in real time – as well as liaise with organisations such as The Nepal Ministry of Health. It allows them to work in remote areas, but still be connected.

Nepal is famous for its mountainous terrain. 81% of the population of 23 million people live in rural areas. Many remote villages are accessible only by foot and can take several days to reach. After the earthquake on April 25th, approximately 25% of 3G sites were down. Over the next 48 hours this increased to about half as electricity disruption impacted operator performance. Thanks to the immense efforts of employees from NCell, TeliaSonera and others and improvisations like Cells on Wheels (CoWs) by April 30th less than 10% of 2G and 3G sites were down. By May 10th – just before the second earthquake hit on May 12th – 97% of NCell’s sites were operational. By May 21st, 96% of 2G cells and 94% of 3G cells were once again operational.

In disaster zones communication is critical. Mobile networks can be a matter of life and death. When the network is restored, communities can be reconnected and operations like Team Rubicon to help start the rest of the recovery process.

Team Rubicon’s veterans are a powerful source of help, sending their volunteers all over the world: US, UK, Nepal, Philippines, Haiti and many more locations which need a fast response to crisis. Everywhere they go mobile connectivity is crucial to the work they carry out while on the grounds. When your restore the mobile network you rebuild the human network.

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