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 Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Monday, 19 May 2008, 11:38

The International Telecommunication Union has deployed 100 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis that hit Myanmar on 2 May with devastating effect in Yangon and the low-lying Irrawaddy delta region. 

With the restoration of communication links, designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies are able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations. The mobile terminals are easily transported by road and air to be used both by humanitarian workers and the victims of this disaster.

Tin Htwe, director-general of the Posts & Telecommunications Department of Myanmar, comments: "In the light of the level of damage caused by Nargis, we warmly welcome ITU's offer of assistance."
Cosmas Zavazava, chief of ITU's Division for Emergency Telecommunications, says: "In confronting the global challenge of climate change, we are intensifying our activities in integrating information and communication technologies in disaster preparedness, including early warning and disaster relief, so as to save human lives.
"Since July last year, we have provided ICT relief services to the Americas, Africa, and Asia and Pacific regions." ITU is providing both Thuraya hand-held satellite phones and Inmarsat Global Area Network (GAN) terminals.
"The Thuraya satellite phones use both satellite and GSM networks and also provide accurate GPS positioning coordinates to aid relief and rescue. The Inmarsat GAN terminals are mainly used for voice communications and, for high-speed data. ITU pays for all expenses, including transportation of the equipment and usage."

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