Thuraya Link issue 8 Nov 2014
Issue 9 | FEB 2015
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Establishing Vital Communication Links in Emergency Situations
In this issue of Thuraya Link, we examine the critical role mobile satellite services (MSS) play in enabling relief organizations to respond more effectively in times of crisis and disaster.
Fahad Kahoor
From restoring critical communications to coordinating emergency responses, satellite technology often serves as the backbone to successful relief operations. Humanitarian organizations worldwide are increasingly reliant on mobile satellite services (MSS) for its robustness and expansive coverage to facilitate timely and efficient response.

To address emerging needs, Thuraya has been ramping up efforts to support international relief agencies—working closely with the likes of SOS Children's Villages and Doctors Without Borders to provide mobile satellite phones for on-ground communications.

More recently, Thuraya collaborated with NetHope, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and Service Providers Airbus and Airtel Africa to deploy Thuraya IP+ terminals in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak. Recognizing the importance of disaster preparedness, we also strengthened our longstanding partnership with the ITU by providing Thuraya XT handsets, preferential airtime rates and technical training support to enhance its capacity in deploying and utilizing MSS—enabling on-site staff to effectively coordinate aid operations.

We further reinforced this commitment by establishing a donation policy to deliver immediate assistance, facilitate relief efforts and meet the needs of those in afflicted areas through the provision of MSS solutions. Under this policy, Thuraya and its vast network of Service Providers can work closely with NGOs and government bodies, equipping them with the tools critical for immediate response.

At the same time, we continue to put strong emphasis on our satellite equipment to meet the specific requirements of aid workers. Thuraya XT and Thuraya IP+ are already widely used in various humanitarian missions, and we will continue developing consumer-friendly devices for the ease of use of first responders—allowing them to focus on their core duty of saving those in need.

This approach is similar to our overall product development strategy, where we focus on delivering innovations that our users truly need: solutions that are customizable to their demands and at flexible prices. The recent launch of Thuraya XT-LITE perfectly demonstrates our commitment to this strategy. A competitively-priced satellite phone, Thuraya XT-LITE offers cost-conscious users reliable satellite telephony capabilities that enable them to stay connected in areas previously unserved by terrestrial networks.

At Thuraya, we believe in our purpose to save and improve lives, and remain deeply committed to continuing our involvement in emergency communications programs and strengthening our partnerships with NGOs. This April, we will be hosting the very first Working Group for Emergency Telecommunication (WGET): ICT Humanitarian Forum in partnership with Dubai International Humanitarian City. Set to attract key UN delegates and government officials from around the region, the event aims to explore the role of communications technology in realizing the full potential of relief operations.

2015 promises to be yet another exciting year for the MSS sector, and we look forward to sharing with you new initiatives that will enable us to further push the envelope of innovation, especially in the convergence of mobile satellite and terrestrial technology.

Market Development Manager for NGOs
Pushing the Boundaries of Relief Operations with Satellite
Establishing Vital Communication Links in Emergency Situations
Thought Leadership
The Ebola Crisis in West Africa: Lessons Learned about Providing Disaster Relief Communications
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