ESOA: Satellite Operators Conduct Training for Humanitarian Responders

Satellite operators train humanitarian first responders for
international emergencies

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates–(BUSINESS WIRE)–From the migrant crisis in Europe, to the earthquake in Nepal, the
ability to communicate is essential to humanitarian emergency
operations. World-leading satellite operators and integrators: Arabsat,
EMC, Eutelsat, Hispasat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, SES, Thuraya and Yahsat are
conducting technical training for humanitarian personnel starting in
Dubai this week, to support the provision of communications to all those
responding to emergencies including affected populations.

This course is the very first activity emanating from the Crisis
Connectivity Charter, a set of commitments to enhance communications in
times of crises, signed by the satellite operators and integrator
community and the United Nations in October 2015. The Charter was
established by the EMEA Satellite Operators’ Association (ESOA) and the
Global VSAT Forum (GVF) with the support of the United Nations World
Food Programme (WFP)-led Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), and
the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Simon Gray, Vice President of Humanitarian Affairs at Eutelsat and Group
Coordinator for the Crisis Connectivity Charter for ESOA and GVF: “The
Charter aims to offer coordinated, end-to-end and fully redundant
satellite communication solutions for the humanitarian community.
However, to ensure it is effective, first responders must know how to
set-up and operate the different types of equipment available. Satellite
operators regularly carry out free-of-charge training, both first-hand
and via online tools, as part of our commitment to improving emergency
communications.”

The training seeks to provide ETC responders with the skills and
experience to deploy, manage and support satellite solutions,
facilitated through the Crisis Connectivity Charter, during humanitarian
emergency operations.

Twelve attendees from the Fast IT and Telecommunications Emergency and
Support Team (FITTEST), (the IT emergency response capacity of WFP) and
ETC member Ericsson Response will participate in the course, along with
twelve trainers. The training course will be held at the WFP warehouses
in International Humanitarian City.

“Humanitarian emergency response is more effective when communities have
the information and communications capacity they need to make informed
decisions,” said Enrica Porcari, Chair of the ETC and WFP Chief
Information Officer and Director of IT. “This training course is another
step forward by the international satellite operator and integrator
community to support the provision of communications in emergencies,
helping affected communities to stay safe and protected, and supporting
their leadership in a more accountable humanitarian response
environment.”

The principle commitments of the Charter include:

  • Pre-planned, predictable and scalable satellite-based solutions,
    deployable within 24 hours of a disaster and adaptable to the unique
    nature of each operation
  • Satellite equipment prepositioned in Dubai at the UN Humanitarian
    Response Depot for deployment within 24 hours to disaster areas;
    transport within disaster areas; and importation and licensing
  • Reserved bandwidth on interlinking satellite coverages, ensuring
    prioritization of humanitarian internet traffic
  • In-country capacity-building by charter signatories for the response
    community, including humanitarians, governments and national civil
    society
  • All provided at no cost to the humanitarian operation.

Mazen Nassar, Installation Training Lead for the Middle East, GVF: “The
Charter Signatories’ delivery of ETC training is an important step
toward improved disaster preparedness, and it sets the stage for broader
support from the satellite communications community. This has already
become evident through the sponsorship of GVF training by Ultisat, a
satellite solution provider that also seeks to help address humanitarian
needs during and after disasters.”

EMEA Satellite Operators’ Association (ESOA) is the world’s only
CEO-driven satellite trade association whose membership brings together
all European, Middle-East and African satellite operators and supporting
members including service providers, manufacturers and launch service
providers. Set up in 2002, the association’s mission is to provide a
unified voice and a platform for collaboration for satellite operators
to ensure the continued success of the sector and to broaden the
opportunities for policymakers to leverage satellite services to fulfill
their objectives. www.esoa.net

Global VSAT Forum (GVF) is an independent, non-partisan and
non-profit organization with 200+ members from every major region of the
world. The broad-based membership represents every sector of the
satellite industry, including fixed and mobile satellite operators,
satellite network operators, teleports, satellite earth station
manufacturers, system integrators, value added and enhanced service
providers, telecom carriers, consultants, law firms, and users. gvf.org

Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) is a global network of
humanitarian, private sector and governmental organisations that work
together in disasters to provide vital communications services. The ETC
is one of the 11 clusters designated by the Inter-Agency Standing
Committee (IASC). The ETC seeks to ensure that by 2020, all those
responding to humanitarian emergencies – including affected communities
– have access to vital communications services. www.ETCluster.org

Contacts

Mariko Hall, +41 799 32 1101
Cluster Communication Officer
Global
Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) UN World Food Programme,
Geneva
mariko.hall@wfp.org