Bangladesh: UN agency deploys emergency communications devices after floods

Bangladesh: UN agency deploys emergency communications devices after floods

The United Nations telecommunications agency has deployed 30 satellite terminals in remote areas of Bangladesh as part of its efforts to restore vital communications links across the South Asian nation after devastating recent floods.

The United Nations telecommunications agency has deployed 30 satellite terminals in remote areas of Bangladesh as part of its efforts to restore vital communications links across the South Asian nation after devastating recent floods.

The “plug and play” terminals, which are portable devices the size of a small suitcase, allow users to make calls to telephones, access the Internet and provide other voice, data and video services, such as telemedicine.

The Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said in a statement released today that the terminals are being deployed to areas of Bangladesh underserved by communication links.

Almost two thirds of the delta nation has been inundated with flood water since the start of this year’s monsoon season, and the response and rescue efforts have been hampered by a lack of telecommunications facilities and damaged roads and airstrips.

ITU said it would pay for all costs related to the transport, training and use of the terminals, which are equipped with solar panels to provide an independent energy source. The terminals, which are from Thuraya Satellite, are dedicated mostly to voice communication.

Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, said States were turning increasingly to the agency for help with technology in the wake of disasters.

“With so many disasters affecting countries, ITU is taking all measures to be well equipped and respond quickly to help governments and other first responders with telecommunications resources so that they can focus on rescue and rehabilitation operations,” he said.

ITU also deployed 50 satellite terminals to remote areas in southern Peru following the deadly earthquake in the Andean country on 15 August.