Satnews Daily
December 31st, -0001

Vizada + TSF... In The Face Of Disasters (SATCOM)

[SatNews] Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) is a leading, international, NGO that specializes in emergency operations when disasters or other relief missions require communications.

Vizada has just renewed its sponsorship contract with TSF, pledging to continue mobile satellite communications support in 2011, including for their current mission in Libya. During their recent operation in the Tunisian transit camp of La Chucha on the Libyan border, Vizada provided the airtime for data and voice communications as well as BGAN terminals and IsatPhone Pro satellite phones. Following the political unrest of February and March, a transit camp was erected through the help of international aid programs for the thousands of migrant workers fleeing the violence in Libya. The camp, which housed up to 20,000 people, provided a safe place with food and shelter for those waiting to be evacuated via the airport in Djerba.

TSF staff put in place an emergency call center that offered refugees free 3-minute international phone calls using the Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro satellite handsets. Every day, thousands waited in line to have a chance to reconnect with family. The Vizada-supplied BGAN terminals were used to set up a Wi-Fi internet connection used by TSF and other aid organizations on site. In addition to the aid provided for the crisis in Libya, TSF has used Vizada mobile satellite services for numerous missions throughout their partnership. In 2010, a particularly challenging year for humanitarian relief centers, TSF was supported by Vizada on ten separate occasions. Missions ranged from supporting telecommunication assessment after the February earthquake in Chile, to opening a humanitarian call center for flood victims in Pakistan in August. Most recently, a TSF team was deployed to Tokyo to determine an action plan following the earthquake and tsunami damage in Japan.

“It has always been crucial for TSF to use the most up-to-date and appropriate on-site solutions and to employ the latest technologies and devices. That is why TSF has relied on Vizada’s services for the past 13 years and will continue to use them systematically for all our operations,” said Jean-François Cazenave, President of TSF. “Vizada’s solutions form an integral part of our efforts in aiding affected populations and humanitarian organizations following a natural disaster or conflict.” TSF has relied on Vizada’s support since its foundation in 1998. Vizada also supplies mobile satellite services to a number of NGOs, including Médecins sans Frontières, International Red Cross, United Nations organizations, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.