[SatNews] Globalstar, Inc. (NYSE MKT: GSAT), provider of satellite communications and emergency notification technologies, today announced that Disaster Tech Lab is using Globalstar’s satellite phones and SPOT handheld messengers to improve the efficiency of its humanitarian rescue operations and enhance the safety of its volunteers in disaster zones. Disaster Tech Lab sets up networks and services that enable communications for aid organizations and NGOs as well as affected communities.
Disaster Tech Lab’s volunteers in Nepal, setting up communications networks in the aftermath of the recent earthquakes, are already using SPOT Gen3 units. The rugged, easy-to-use handheld devices are set up to automatically report the user’s location at regular intervals. The device includes a ‘check-in’ button to send to Disaster Tech Lab’s headquarters with a prepared message, indicating that all is OK, as well as an SOS feature in case of emergency. SPOT has initiated over 3,500 life-saving rescues to date and is already relied upon by numerous emergency management organizations.
Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phones, currently free when activating on select airtime plans, will be used by Disaster Tech Lab’s communications and IT specialist volunteers to coordinate activities with the head office, such as planning the shipment of solar powered satellite terminals.
“Globalstar satellite phones will make a big difference to us. We will be less reliant on VHF radios and will be able to overcome logistical challenges in getting the right equipment to the right place, speeding up operations significantly,” said Evert Bopp, founder of Disaster Tech Lab. “At times, we can have up to five separate teams operating in demanding circumstances around the world. With the SPOT app on my smartphone, I can easily see where every team is and be reassured that they are safe. Their friends and family can also have that reassurance.”
“By providing communications equipment on the ground, Disaster Tech Lab plays a pivotal role in helping aid agencies communicate and disaster victims stay in touch with loved ones and authorities. Even in a technologically sophisticated environment, such as New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the emergency services and NGOs turned to Disaster Tech Lab to provide communications. Their expertise also extends to bringing Wi-Fi to remote villages devastated by typhoons and other natural disasters, enabling locals to use Skype for the first time to get in touch. With Globalstar satellite services added to their solution, we are ensuring these volunteers are able to plan better and be kept safe,” said Jay Monroe, Chairman and CEO, Globalstar.