ITU Using Satellite Terminals in Uganda
[10-16-07 – Satellite Today] The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has deployed 25 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of severe floods that have affected regions of Uganda, the ITU announced Oct. 16.
Uganda has been hard hit by floods, with several districts being ravaged by torrential rains and flash floods that have marooned more than 140,000 people, destroyed roads and communication links, and submerged crops.
The government has declared a state of emergency, and ITU has provided Thuraya handheld satellite telephones and Inmarsat Global Area Network (GAN) terminals to help restore communications and help the government and humanitarian more efficiently coordinate relief operations. The Thuraya phones use satellite and GSM networks and also provide GPS coordinates to aid relief and rescue. The Inmarsat GAN terminals are used mainly for voice communications and, in some cases, can be used for high-speed data. ITU pays for all expenses, including transportation of the equipment and usage.
"There is no doubt that communication links are essential to ensure a more effective and coordinated relief effort,” Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, said in a statement. “This is why we have, upon request from the Uganda Communications Commission, quickly deployed the resources at our disposal."