International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Thursday, March 17, 2011

When it comes to disaster management, there are quite a few aid organizations around the world who arrive quickly to the spot to help with whatever help required starting from food, to medicines and even ICT.

But Japan’s worst earthquake in decades that is leading to a nuclear crisis as well has raised a peculiar problem. How do international agencies reach with aid, particularly technology aid, when a disaster has the potential to endanger the lives of the helpers who are not locals?

In Japan for instance, Télécoms San Frontières
(TSF) -- or Telecom Without Borders -- the France-based NGO that specializes in setting up emergency telecommunications in disaster hit areas around the world, was one of the first international aid agencies to reach Japan for setting up an emergency telecommunication network in the affected areas.

But when Japan’s beleaguered nuclear power plants started spewing out nuclear radiation, TSF had to hastily retreat. According to TSF, concerned by the threat its staff faced due to the radiation hazard, TSF was forced to pull out yesterday; with bag, equipments and baggage, so to speak.

One organization that was able to tackle this eventuality smartly was UN’s
International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  ITU too dispatched its emergency telecommunications equipment to areas severely affected by the tsunami within 24 hours of Friday’s devastating earthquake.

But instead of sending its own people, it sent its equipment with detailed and lucidly composed instruction manuals so that the
local agencies operating on spot could deploy them easily.

Click here to read more.

Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:35:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Satellite broadband terminals deployed following tsunami and volcanic eruption

Geneva, 1 November 2010 - ITU has deployed a hybrid of 40 broadband satellite terminals in an effort to restore vital communication links in the aftermath of a tsunami triggered by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake and a volcanic eruption that hit the Indonesian archipelago in two separate incidents.

As aid and rescue workers battle rough weather and difficult terrain to reach tsunami victims in the remote Mentawi islands off Sumatra, Mount Merapi continues to spew super-heated gas and debris on villages in Central Java. The natural disasters have wreaked havoc, causing untold death and destruction in their wake.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré expressed his solidarity with the people of Indonesia and offered his condolences to the bereaved victims of the disaster. “The loss of life and destruction of property as a result of two natural disasters is a matter of deep concern and I offer my heartfelt condolences to the victims and to the people of Indonesia,” Dr Touré said. “ITU will do its utmost to provide assistance to people in the disaster-affected areas by re-establishing telecommunication links which will be vital in the rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the days ahead.”

Click here to read more..

Tuesday, November 02, 2010 10:12:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pakistan is flooding. People are dying and being displaced. Food aid distribution is lagging.
But can they make phone calls?

An unusual question, perhaps. But a crucial one, nonetheless.

You see, the United Nations has a division -- the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) -- that is responsible for rushing into disaster zones to help resurrect vital telecom infrastructure that has been destroyed. Why is that important?

We're not talking about allowing people to engage in idle gossip at steep monthly rates.

We're talking about cellphone towers losing electricity or falling into crevices, about shifting tectonic plates rupturing fixed-line phone service, about rooftop antennas in crowded urban areas collapsing into rubble, about flood waters shutting down power generators to various parts of a mobile network.

Without any of this, government agencies can't distribute all the aid your donations have provided, can't co-ordinate with humanitarian agencies to figure out where the need for medical services is the greatest and can't, in short, respond to the crisis properly.

For citizens, it's even more frightening. During the Haiti earthquake, as with many disasters, family members didn't know whether their loved ones were alive. People were texting SOS messages from beneath the rubble -- and having their text messages join a long queue created by the strained wireless networks (a data backlog situation that also happened, if you recall, when Sidney Crosby scored his momentous goal for Team Canada). That's why there's other groups, as well, such as Télécoms Sans Frontières.

For more in this article please go to: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/globe-on-technology/food-shelter-phone-service/article1684892/

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 4:03:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 04, 2010

3 February 2010 – Three weeks after the earthquake in Haiti, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations’ oldest agency, is still trying to re-establish reliable telephone and internet connections in the country, but also has long-term plans to help build state-of-the-art telecommunication networks there.

“We are working with the Haitian Government and operators to put in place telecommunication infrastructure that could be used for efficient and effective disaster management and for the general socio-economic development of the country,” Cosmas Zavazava, Chief of Emergency Telecommunications at the ITU, told the UN News Centre.

“Our aim is to help Haiti mobilize and deploy different kinds of technologies to mitigate the impacts of disasters. Reliable telecommunication systems can be complemented with remote sensing and GIS [geographic information systems] technology. In disaster management, a hybrid of these technologies is important,” Mr. Zavazava added.


For more information, go to UN News Centre at: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33668&Cr=haiti&Cr1

 

Thursday, February 04, 2010 4:04:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |