Vizada continues satellite support for Télécoms Sans Frontières mission in Libya
Renewed sponsorship contract to provide support in Libyan refugee mission
Paris, 30 March 2011 – Vizada, the leading independent satellite communications provider, has just renewed its sponsorship contract with Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), pledging to continue mobile satellite communications support in 2011, including for their current mission in Libya.
TSF, the leading international non-governmental organization specialized in emergency telecommunications, participates in disaster and emergency relief operations around the world by providing people in distress with a means of communication. During their recent operation in the Tunisian transit camp of La Chucha on the Libyan border, Vizada provided the airtime for data and voice communications as well as BGAN terminals and IsatPhone Pro satellite phones.
Following the political unrest of February and March, a transit camp was erected through the help of international aid programs for the thousands of migrant workers fleeing the violence in Libya. The camp, which housed up to 20,000 people, provided a safe place with food and shelter for those waiting to be evacuated via the airport in Djerba.
TSF staff put in place an emergency call center that offered refugees free 3-minute international phone calls using the Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro satellite handsets. Every day, thousands waited in line to have a chance to reconnect with family. The Vizada-supplied BGAN terminals were used to set up a Wi-Fi internet connection used by TSF and other aid organizations on site.
In addition to the aid provided for the crisis in Libya, TSF has used Vizada mobile satellite services for numerous missions throughout their partnership. In 2010, a particularly challenging year for humanitarian relief centers, TSF was supported by Vizada on ten separate occasions. Missions ranged from supporting telecommunication assessment after the February earthquake in Chile, to opening a humanitarian call center for flood victims in Pakistan in August. Most recently, a TSF team was deployed to Tokyo to determine an action plan following the earthquake and tsunami damage in Japan.
“It has always been crucial for TSF to use the most up-to-date and appropriate on-site solutions and to employ the latest technologies and devices. That is why TSF has relied on Vizada’s services for the past 13 years and will continue to use them systematically for all our operations,” said Jean-François Cazenave, President of TSF. “Vizada’s solutions form an integral part of our efforts in aiding affected populations and humanitarian organizations following a natural disaster or conflict.”
TSF has relied on Vizada’s support since its foundation in 1998. Vizada also supplies mobile satellite services to a number of NGOs including Médecins sans Frontières, International Red Cross, United Nations organizations, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
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 provider partners. These services are packaged with Vizada Solutions™, designed to add business value to basic connectivity, and delivered through Vizada’s global teleport network – five state-of-the-art satellite facilities strategically positioned around the world. Vizada works with the broadest range of network providers in the industry, including: Inmarsat, Iridium, Thuraya, Eutelsat, Intelsat, Loral, New Skies, and SES Americom. Vizada’s 200,000 end users benefit from access to these satellite communications services wherever they are in the world. End users include: merchant shipping vessels, emergency response organizations, government and military units, global media companies, telecoms & internet service providers, and business, military and civil aviation.
About Télécoms Sans Frontières
After any disaster or conflict, TSF emergency aid crews intervene anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours. They set up satellite-based telecoms centers offering broadband Internet, phone and fax lines to the relief workers. Meanwhile, TSF runs humanitarian calling operations giving every affected family a free three-minute phone call. TSF prevention and development programs include telecoms centers for local communities and training sessions for relief agencies in disaster-prone regions. TSF deployed to 60 countries and assisted 600 humanitarian organizations and hundreds of thousands of victims. TSF is partner of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). TSF was designated “First Responder” within the UN Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC). TSF is also a working group member of the UN emergency telecoms body (WGET).
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