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ITU, Inmarsat and Vizada conclude agreement to enhance mobile telecommunication capacity for emergencies

Issued jointly by ITU, Inmarsat and Vizada SAS

Geneva, 8 October 2009 —
ITU, Inmarsat and Vizada SAS have reached an agreement to improve emergency communications for disaster preparedness and to coordinate relief activities in the aftermath of a disaster.

Inmarsat and Vizada are donating 70 BGAN terminals, highly-portable devices capable of delivering voice and broadband data, to the ITU. The equipment will enhance ITU’s capacity in deploying mobile telecommunications to assist countries in preparing for disaster and in strengthening response and recovery mechanisms.

Based on the agreement, Inmarsat and Vizada will provide ITU with preferential airtime rates and technical training support.

"We thank Inmarsat and Vizada for their generous contribution," said Mr Sami Al Basheer, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. "This partnership builds on our long-standing cooperation and comes at a critical time when many countries are being affected by disasters resulting in thousands of people losing their lives. When everything else fails, satellite communications provides a critical link for humanitarian agencies and victims."

Inmarsat and Vizada SAS provide satellite-based solutions that are critical in supporting ITU activities aimed at helping countries better respond to disasters.

"Today’s agreement extends Inmarsat’s commitment to the use of mobile satellite communications in disaster relief, with the contribution to the ITU of 70 of the world’s most advanced mobile satellite terminals, with associated training, for key players in the field to use at the most critical of times. Inmarsat was founded on the principle that communications can save lives, and there is no better use for our services than that.  We remain deeply committed to continuing our involvement in disaster relief programmes, and to strengthening our partnership with the ITU," said Andrew Sukawaty, Chairman and CEO of Inmarsat and an ITU-designated Eminent Person.

Erik Ceuppens, CEO, Vizada EMEA & Asia, emphasized his company’s commitment to delivering fast ICT assistance where it is most needed. "We provide reliable, cost-effective and rapidly-deployable mobile satellite services to NGO customers around the world, and are delighted to leverage our experience in this latest project for the ITU," he commented.

ITU recently launched a global initiative that seeks to bring together partners from all domains to cooperate towards disaster mitigation through the use of information and communication technologies.

"Following the launch of the ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies, industry leaders in technology, financing and airfreight services are now able to rally around ITU’s rapid response efforts, helping countries hit by disasters through the use of ICT when terrestrial networks are disrupted or destroyed," said Cosmas Zavazava, ITU’s Chief, Emergency Telecommunications. "ITU continues to attract partners committed to using technology to save lives. This people-oriented partnership is one such example."

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Parkes
Media Relations
Tel: +41 22 730 6135
Mobile: +41 79 599 1439
Fax: +41 22 730 5939
Cosmas Zavazava
Chief of Division,
Emergency Telecommunications
Tel: +41 22 730 5447


John Warehand
PR Manager
Tel: +44 20 7728 1579
+44 7739 778 128
Annie Hurley
Corporate Communications Manager
Tel: +33 6 72 96 14 24



About ITU

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat plc (LSE: ISAT) is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. The company's services are delivered through a global network of more than 500 distribution partners and service providers operating in 180 countries. For the year ended 31st December 2008, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of USD 996.7 million (2007: USD 576.5 million) with an EBITDA of USD 531.2 million (2007: USD 388.1 million). For more information, please visit

About Vizada

Vizada is an independent provider of global satellite communications services. The company, which was formed by the merger of Telenor Satellite Services and France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications, offers mobile and fixed connectivity services from multiple satellite network operators through a network of 400 service providers. Vizada’s 200,000 end users, including non-governmental organizations, benefit from access to these satellite communications services wherever they are in the world.


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Updated : 2009-10-08