Thuraya Telecommunications Company, has donated new supplies of emergency telecommunication equipment to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) under the decade old Emergency Telecommunications support arrangement. This donation will strengthen the ITU’s capacity in natural disaster preparedness, search and rescue, and response through the use of state-of-the-art mobile satellite communication equipment.
Thuraya’s satellite equipment will enhance the scale at which the ITU can deploy mobile communications to assist countries affected by disasters, and strengthen response, relief and recovery interventions.
Thuraya’s Chief Commercial Officer Bilal Hamoui said: “We remain deeply committed to continuing our involvement in emergency communications programs, and to strengthening our partnership with the ITU. At Thuraya, we strongly believe in our purpose to save and improve lives and we also believe that if we continue to get our technology into more of the right hands at the right time, we can save even more lives.”
Thuraya’s previous donations to the ITU have provided a critical path for relief in emergency and disaster situations. Most recently, in 2016, the ITU deployed Thuraya terminals in flood-stricken Sri Lanka. These units were used to support relief and coordination efforts on the ground during the torrential rains that caused loss of lives and destruction to infrastructure.
Hamoui emphasised the need to go beyond the simple provisioning of handsets and terminals: “Yes, we do donate Thuraya terminals, but our contribution doesn’t end there. We also provide additional capacity over the affected area; and technical training support. Giving people equipment they don’t know how to use or cannot afford defeats the purpose of the donation.”
ITU Chief, Projects and Knowledge Management Department Dr. Cosmas Zavazava said: “We thank Thuraya for their generous contribution and continuous support. The role of telecommunications in disaster risk reduction, and response is critical in order to improve preparedness, and the timely flow of crucial information needed for appropriate assistance to be delivered before, during and after a disaster occurs.
“For this reason, we are vigorously forging partnerships with the private sector to organise activities related to disaster mitigation with the aim of saving lives. We are working to help countries to preserve and save human life, as well as create a better life for their citizens. ITU is also supporting countries by ensuring that technology helps in environmental protection, climate change mitigation, and e-waste management. Resilient partnerships such as the one we have with Thuraya help us get results.”
The donation, which includes Thuraya XT- LITE handsets, SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot units, meets the demand and requirements of disaster affected regions: it’s transportable, easy to use and easy to deploy. While the Thuraya XT-LITE is the world’s smallest satellite phone, offering seamless walk-and-talk functionality for calls-on-the-go, Thuraya SatSleeve + and HotSpot are the fastest way to transform a smartphone into a satellite smartphone. They provide users with access to phone calls, emails, instant messages and popular social media apps in satellite mode.