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 Thursday, January 14, 2010

Phone lines and cell phone towers are among the casualties in Port-au-Prince, after the worst earthquake in the region in 200 years. The International Telecommunication Union, the ITU, has announced that it is deploying equipment and experts to establish emergency telecommunications services in the affected areas. Bissera Kostova spoke to ITU's Chief of Emergency Telecommunications, Cosmas Zavazava, about the operation.

Zavazava: ITU, as the specialized agency of the United Nations in providing information and communications technologies has allocated a budget of slightly over one million US dollars for purposes of deploying telecommunications resources by way of satellite based solutions, which are capable of providing voice communications and high speed data, which can be used, of course, for telemedicine facilities to help the injured and those who are maimed.

For more information, go to UN Radio news at: http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/detail/89075.html

Thursday, January 14, 2010 3:16:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 08, 2009

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations has teamed up with two leading global satellite companies in a bid to strengthen emergency communications before impending natural disasters strike and to save more lives by better coordinating relief efforts in their aftermath, the UN telecommunications agency announced on Thursday.

    Inmarsat and Vizada have agreed to donate 70 state-of-the-art and highly portable satellite devices -- capable of delivering voice and broadband data wherever disasters take place -- to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

    ITU will receive preferential airtime rates and technical training support as part of the agreement, the UN agency said. When everything else fails, satellite communications provides a critical link for humanitarian agencies and victims.

For more information, go to: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/09/content_12196498.htm 

Thursday, October 08, 2009 9:30:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 23, 2008

Geneva, 22 May 2008 

The International Telecommunication Union has deployed 100 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of the severe earthquake that struck central China on 12 May 2008. The 8.0-magnitude quake in Sichuan province of China killed more than 40 000 people and injured hundreds of thousands, with many still missing ten days after the tragedy. The quake, which destroyed infrastructure and telecommunications lines, disrupted electricity and transport, brought down buildings and rendered nearly 5 million people homeless, is the country's worst natural disaster in three decades.

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

For more information go to TMCnet at  http://asia.tmcnet.com/news/2008/05/22/3460835.htm

 

Friday, May 23, 2008 9:09:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

22nd May 2008

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has deployed 100 satellite phones to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of the severe earthquake that struck central China. The quake, which destroyed infrastructure and telecommunications lines, disrupted electricity and transport, brought down buildings and rendered nearly 5 million people homeless, is the country's worst natural disaster in three decades.

 

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

For more information, go to Cellular News at http://www.cellular-news.com/story/31314.php

Friday, May 23, 2008 9:03:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
May 23, 2008

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has deployed 100 satellite terminals in China to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of the severe earthquake that hit on May 12, the UN agency said on Thursday.

The 8.0-magnitude quake in the southwest Sichuan province killed tens of thousands of people and also destroyed infrastructure and telecommunications lines, disrupted electricity and transport.

The mobile satellite terminals are easily transported by road and air to be used both by humanitarian workers and the victims of this disaster.

With the restoration of communication links, designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies are now able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations, ITU said in a statement.

For more information, go to People's Daily Online at http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/6416624.html

Friday, May 23, 2008 9:01:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Source: Reliefweb

Date: 22 May 2008

Emergency health kits capable of providing assistance to 30,000 people for up to one month have been rushed into the quake-affected areas of Sichuan province in China by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).

One hundred satellite terminals have been deployed to provide accurate coordination of relief and rescue operations by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as UN aid agencies continue their humanitarian efforts.

State media report that over 41,000 people lost their lives as a result of the massive temblor on 12 May, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale. Some 32,000 people are missing, while more than 250,000 others have sustained injuries. Roughly 5 million people have been left homeless.

ITU said the 100 mobile satellite terminals they are supplying are easily transported by road and air and can be used by both humanitarian workers and quake victims.

‘I would like to assure the Government that ITU is ready to provide expertise in carrying out telecommunication network damage assessments aimed at paving the way for the rehabilitation of the damaged telecommunications structure,’ said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.

The hand-held Thuraya satellite phones use both satellite and GSM networks and can provide accurate GPS coordinates to support relief and rescue efforts.

For more information, go to Reliefweb at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/EGUA-7EVNSV?OpenDocument

Friday, May 23, 2008 8:56:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 21, 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."

For more information, go to IT-Online at http://it-online.co.za/content/view/287432/142/

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 9:59:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

20 May 2008 at 14:43

News, Disaster Management, ITU, Satellite, Myanmar: Controversy has marked the relief efforts in Myanmar's recent cyclone tragedy. One encouraging sign is that ITU satellite terminals are restoring vital communications links. The International Telecommunication Union has deployed 100 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis which hit Myanmar on May 2 with devastating effect in Yangon and the low-lying Irrawaddy delta region.

Thousands were killed, and thousands more are injured and missing. High winds cut electricity and destroyed roads and communications links, hampering the coordination and delivery of assistance. 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.

"I am very disturbed by the high frequency of disasters across the globe," said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. "This particular disaster, like the tsunami of 2004, struck on a weekend when most of the agencies that could provide assistance least expected it." Expressing his deep condolences to the government and people of Myanmar, Mr Al Basheer said: "I am however, heartened by the fact that ITU was one of the very first agencies to arrive in Myanmar with telecommunications resources."

For more information, go to Developing Telecoms at http://www.developingtelecoms.com/content/view/1240/26/

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 9:38:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 17, 2008

Telecommunications to save lives when disasters strike

Geneva, 13 December 2007 — The Global Forum on ‘Effective Use of Telecommunications/ICT for Disaster Management: Saving Lives’ closed yesterday, having launched two important initiatives, the ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies and the ITU Network of Volunteers for Emergency Telecommunications. Two new publications on emergency telecommunications were also issued.

The ITU Secretary-General also established a High-Level Panel for Emergency Telecommunications consisting of Mr Eui Koh, Mr Jay Naidoo, and Mr Olof Lundberg.

Several partnerships forged with industry were also announced. These partnerships bring to ITU both equipment and funds to be used to finance telecommunications/ICT solutions in all phases of disaster management, including early-warning and response.

The Global Forum was held in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2007.

The Forum attracted representatives of 174 governments, some at Ministerial level; 18 international organizations; 18 private sector entities including some CEOs; and 53 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Participants gathered to map out concrete strategies and adopt practical measures aimed at giving telecommunications/ICT a central role in all phases of disaster management early warning, preparedness, relief and response, and rehabilitation of telecommunication networks.

"We have seen through first-hand experience the power and potential of telecommunications to save lives in times of disaster," noted Mr Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. "I was pleased to meet so many dedicated men and women during this Forum who are united in the common belief that much more can and must be done."

The Forum discussed policy, regulation, technology, finance and deployment of last-mile, multi-hazard communications systems. The Forum comprised plenary sessions, panel discussions, a ministerial round table, a private sector CEO round table, a workshop on remote sensing, thematic sessions, and an exhibition of telecommunication/ICT state-of-the-art solutions, including technologies for remote sensing.

More information on ITU's press releases website at http://www.itu.int/newsroom/press_releases/2007/38.html

Thursday, April 17, 2008 9:05:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Secretary-General addresses Space Business Round Table in Washington D.C.

Geneva, 27 February 2008 — ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré addressed the Washington Space Business Round Table: Looking Forward to Space held in conjunction with the Satellite 2008 Conference and Exhibition. Fifty years after the launch of the Russian Sputnik, the first manmade object in outer space, satellites have become the mainstay of telecommunications worldwide.

As the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology (ICT) issues and the global focal point for developing networks and services, the International Telecommunication Union plays a key role in managing radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. ITU is the international forum where the rights and obligations of Member Administrations in obtaining access to the spectrum and orbit resources are agreed. ITU also carries out vital work recording frequency assignments and orbital positions in the Master International Frequency Register and processing satellite filings to ensure that orbital positions and frequencies are compatible and interference-free.

Dr Touré outlined the outcomes of the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) which met in Geneva for four weeks last autumn to address the worldwide use of radio frequencies and to meet the global demand for spectrum, fuelled by rapid technological developments and growth in the ICT sector. Attended by over 2800 delegates, representing 161 Member States and 94 observers, WRC-07 focused on the impact of the latest technological developments in satellite services, mobile communications, digital broadcasting and spectrum/orbit resources for satellite applications, including voice, data, digital and high definition TV, and the Internet.

Satellite communications aid remote communities

Dr Touré highlighted the role of satellite communications in providing access to communications in remote and isolated communities to bridge the so-called digital divide. He said ITU had embarked on a major initiative to connect the world, beginning with Africa, aimed at attracting investment for infrastructure development by developing an enabling environment through appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks and capacity building. The Connect Africa Summit, held in Kigali, Rwanda last October brought together African leaders and business from around the world "seeking not aid or charity but to mobilize investment and business resources to support sustainable growth, employment and development," said Dr Touré.

More information on ITU's press releases website at  http://www.itu.int/newsroom/press_releases/2008/NP02.html

Thursday, April 17, 2008 9:02:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 14, 2008

Opinion  April 09,2008

Disasters disrupt economies, severely weaken the poor and vulnerable and are recognized as major impediments to sustainable development and reduction of poverty especially in least developed countries. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the impact is even worse for those living in remote and isolated areas with no access to basic information and communication facilities that are essential to providing vital alerting information.

Thus, the development arm of the ITU considers emergency telecommunications an integral part of its projects integrating telecommunications/information and communication technology in disaster predication, detection, and alerting. "Emergency Telecommunications play a critical role in the immediate aftermath of disasters by ensuring timely flow of vital information which is much needed by government agencies, and other humanitarian actors that are involved in rescue operations and providing medical assistance to the injured," the ITU website declares.

In 1998, the ITU led the crafting of the Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations, that was unanimously adopted by delegates of the 78 countries that attended the Intergovernmental Conference on Emergency Telecommunications (ICET-98) in Tampere, Finland. The Convention came into force in January 2005, following the ratification by 30 countries.

The Tampere Convention calls on States to facilitate the provision of prompt telecommunication assistance to mitigate the impact of a disaster, and covers both the installation and operation of reliable, flexible telecommunication services. Regulatory barriers that impede the use of telecommunication resources for disasters are waived. These barriers include the licensing requirements to use allocated frequencies, restrictions on the import of telecommunication equipment, as well as limitations on the movement of humanitarian teams.

Until now, the trans-border use of telecommunication equipment by humanitarian organizations was often impeded by regulatory barriers that make it extremely difficult to import and rapidly deploy telecommunications equipment for emergency without prior consent of the local authorities. The treaty simplifies the use of life-saving telecommunication equipment.

For more information, go to Catanduanes Tribune at  http://www.catanduanestribune.com/Apr-09-2008/Opinion/EditorialPage/Detail.aspx?newsID=4001

 

Monday, April 14, 2008 3:03:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 10, 2008

 Date April 09,2008

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has committed to send mobile satellite telecommunications equipment to Catanduanes for use in disaster preparedness and response during the typhoon season.

The commitment was made by Dr. Cosmas Zavazava, head of the ITU department for Less Developed Countries, Small Island Island Countries and Emergency Telecommunications, during the ITU Mission’s meeting with key members of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) headed by Governor Joseph C. Cua.

Accompanying Dr. Zavazava and Wisit Atipayakoon, specialist of the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, during their half-day visit to the island last April 2 was Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Assistant Secretary Cesar V. Sarmiento.

"We have agreed that you just send a message, when you are getting into the typhoon season, to request for mobile satellite telecommunications equipment and we will loan it to you free of charge," the ITU mission head told the PDCC. The satellite gear can provide voice communication, high speed data transmission, and internet access.

"You can use the equipment as much as you want and we will pay the bills. After three months when the disaster is gone, you can return it to us in Geneva so other countries can use it, too," Zavazava said.

However, he added, the provincial government can enter into a co-financing agreement for the permanent basing of mobile satellite terminals in Catanduanes. "Tell us what you need, we can do costing, help you acquire equipment to make it permanent here," he emphasized.

For more information, go to Catanduanes Tribune at  http://www.catanduanestribune.com/Apr-09-2008/TopStory/Detail.aspx?newsID=4017

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:38:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 04, 2008

Source: International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Date: 16 Oct 2007

Geneva, 16 October 2007 — The International Telecommunication Union has deployed 25 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of severe floods that have affected the eastern and northern regions of Uganda since August this year. Several districts were ravaged by torrential rains and flash floods that swept through the country taking lives, marooning over 140 000 people, destroying road and communication links, and submerging crops, compelling the Government to declare a state of emergency.

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 transported by helicopter to serve people most in need.

"I noted with concern and sadness, the suffering and destruction that has been caused by floods that hit the eastern and northern regions of Uganda," said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. "There is no doubt that communication links are essential to ensure a more effective and coordinated relief effort. This is why we have, upon request from the Uganda Communications Commission, quickly deployed the resources at our disposal."

For more information, go to Reliefweb at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/KHII-7833NC?OpenDocument

Monday, February 04, 2008 5:07:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Written by Michael Schwartz   
Oct 16, 2007 at 12:00AM
Disaster management, ITU, Satellite, Rural, Uganda: ITU has deployed 25 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of severe floods that have affected the eastern and northern regions of Uganda since August this year. Several districts have been ravaged by torrential rains and flash floods that swept through the country, taking lives, marooning over 140,000 people, destroying road and communication links, and submerging crops, compelling the Government to declare a state of emergency.

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 transported by helicopter to serve people most in need.

"I noted with concern and sadness the suffering and destruction that has been caused by floods that hit the eastern and northern regions of Uganda," said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. "There is no doubt that communication links are essential to ensure a more effective and coordinated relief effort. This is why we have, on request from the Uganda Communications Commission, quickly deployed the resources at our disposal."

Patrick Masambu, Executive Director for the Uganda Communications Commission, said: "The satellite terminals to be used in the areas which were severely affected by the floods are very timely and will go a long way in facilitating the relief efforts in the affected areas."

Cosmas Zavazava, Head of ITU's Division for Emergency Telecommunications said: "It is clear that we are making a difference on the ground. For the past three months, we have had to deploy telecommunications resources for disaster mitigation in three different regions. In August, we deployed in Peru following an earthquake; in September we deployed in Bangladesh where floods had wreaked havoc; and now we have had to intervene in Uganda. Telecommunications can save lives when natural disasters strike."

 For more information, go to Developing Telecoms at   http://www.developingtelecoms.com/content/view/1033/100/
Monday, February 04, 2008 5:03:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has given Uganda 25 satellite telephones to help restore vital communication links following flooding in the eastern and northern regions.

A statement from the ITU yesterday said the terminals are to be used by designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies, to coordinate relief operations in the affected districts.

Isaac Kalembe, a spokesperson at the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), confirmed that the terminals were in the country. "The Thuraya satellite phones will be handed over by the ICT minister on Thursday."

The offer follows a request by the communications commission.

"There is no doubt that communication links are essential to ensure a more effective and coordinated relief effort. This is why we have, upon request from the Uganda Communications Commission, quickly deployed the resources at our disposal," said the Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, an ITU director.

Patrick Masambu, the UCC chief, thanked ITU and said the gadgets would facilitate relief efforts.

For more information, go to allafrica.com at http://allafrica.com/stories/200710170027.html

Monday, February 04, 2008 4:56:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |