When connectivity saves lives

TSF_Vanuatu_2015Celebrating almost 20 years of humanitarian partnership with Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), we’re proud to continue our support of the NGO emergency telecommunications agency.

Since 2000, Inmarsat has provided satellite communications for TSF missions in over 70 countries in the aftermath of some of the most devastating natural disasters and harrowing conflicts. Since then, Inmarsat and TSF have covered 158 emergency deployments in 72 countries, delivering 1.3 million calls during more than 10,500 days in the field. Assistance provided by TSF to 830 humanitarian organisations, governments and UN agencies has facilitated the aid brought to several million people across the globe. Inmarsat and TSF work together to ensure telecommunications support is established as soon as possible in an emergency, as well as providing training in areas frequently affected to ensure that in the long-term locals can use the equipment if another crisis strikes.
Beyond reconnecting families, our support enables TSF to improve emergency response, coordinate healthcare, repatriate victims and distribute life-saving supplies, including shelter and medication.

“Safety is at the heart of what we do at Inmarsat, which is why we’re honoured to be able to support TSF with vital connectivity – putting people in touch with loved ones and enabling critical emergency response to be coordinated in times of a disaster,” said Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce.

“When people’s lives are in danger it quickly becomes apparent how crucial the ability to communicate is. TSF can be assured that wherever and whenever they need connectivity, they can depend upon our reliable, global network for a communications lifeline.”

Communications for life

TSF was established to let disaster victims call loved ones to say they were alive and needed help, but the agency soon found that international emergency response teams also had a critical need for rapidly-deployable, reliable communications services.

Today, TSF is the principal communications provider to the United Nations in disaster situations, and also supports the European Commission and non-governmental relief agencies.

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Working out of regional bases in France, Thailand, Nicaragua, Mexico and the United States, expert teams are ready to be deployed with kit including BGAN terminals and IsatPhone satellite phones wherever and whenever disaster strikes.

“Inmarsat’s commitment, as well as its equipment and technology, is essential for our work – it allows us to arrive in the field and set up the latest in satellite communications technology in the first hours following a disaster, when the most lives can be saved,” says TSF President and co-founder Jean-François Cazenave.

Disaster response

In the event of natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes, TSF is among the first to arrive at the scene, setting up satellite voice and data communication links so international and local agencies can co-ordinate critical rescue operations.

When Typhoon Hagupit struck the Philippines in December 2014, triggering floods and landslides that destroyed towns across Eastern Samar, TSF was pre-warned and ready to deploy.

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Working directly with the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team, TSF reconnected three of the worst-hit towns –

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