Twenty years of communications for life

07 June 2019: Emergency telecommunications agency Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) deployed in 13 countries in 2018 in response to major humanitarian crises.

TSF communications centre, Lombok

The Inmarsat-sponsored NGO details its global activities in its newly-published annual report, which reveals that since its creation in 1998, TSF has responded to over 140 crises in more than 70 countries, providing a means of communication to over 20 million people and nearly 1,000 NGOs.

Last year, emergency interventions included sending teams to set up communication centres following devastating earthquakes in Lombok and Sulawesi and Typhoon Mangkhut, which hit the Philippines.

Coordinate relief

Using Global Xpress and BGAN terminals, TSF was able to set up reliable communication links for aid agencies and national governments coordinating disaster relief, as well as offering victims free satellite phone calls.

As well as setting up essential telecoms following natural disasters, TSF also continued long-term deployments including the provision of connectivity for medical, education and women’s centres in Syria and neighbouring countries sheltering refugees.

Building capacity by training emergency responders in vulnerable countries was also a focus, with TSF working as a partner on Inmarsat’s project using satellite communications to improve disaster response times in the Philippines, funded by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme.

Providing hope

Man helping boy make a satellite call

Jean-François Cazenave, TSF President, said: “In a world in which technological advancements bring unprecedented opportunities, TSF remains at the forefront of telecommunications for the emergency sector, ready to always break new ground to design and implement innovative technical solutions to help the most vulnerable and hardest to reach people not to lose their hope.”

Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce commented: “Our partnership with TSF is of exceptional importance to us all at Inmarsat. As an organisation, we were born out of the need to help save lives at sea and in TSF we recognised a shared ethos.

“After almost two decades as their partner, the courage and selfless dedication of TSF team members in bringing life-saving communications to people devastated by disaster remains a source of immense pride and inspiration.”

For more information contact