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Bringing communications to areas high in the mountains of South Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is a herculean task. Vodacom, an African communications company, has been committed to bringing portable, solar-powered mobile phone technology to this and other remote areas on the continent. In addition to boosting economic and social development, the hope is that through increased communications capabilities, this conflict-ridden area will become safer. Its people will no longer be at the mercy of bandits and robbers because they will be able to connect with the government, law enforcement, and the outside world.
To support Vodacom’s efforts, Hughes is delivering the cellular backhaul services that make such communications possible. The latest generation Hughes HX System is a high-performance, field-proven satellite networking solution to backhaul all generations of cellular base station technologies— including 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE—and is cost-justified in areas like the town of Numbi that are impossible to reach using traditional terrestrial means, such as fiber, cable, or microwave.
This photo essay tells the story of building the first tower in Numbi. Photos by Susan Schulman.