4 emergency communications solutions in natural disasters

“A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; examples include floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other geologic processes.”

When telecommunications meet natural disasters

When telecom meets natural disaster

When telecom meets natural disaster

  Every time natural disasters happened, we telecom people usually firstly arrived on the scene. Here sharing the Nepal earthquake a emergency communications vehicles, to rescue the telecom and network service. Have to say, the passion for fighting the earthquake must be really appreciated, even with limited telcos-working conditions.

A temporarily used Emergency communications vehicles

A temporarily used Emergency communications vehicles

  But earthquake or other natural disasters rescue race against time, we need more high-end emergency communications solutions, with more high efficiency!

Satellite Communications

  After the outbreak of the earthquake in Nepal, ITU said they immediately deployed in the disaster area 35 satellite phones and 10 BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) terminals. BGAN is a broadband Internet access, mobile real-time video broadcast, compatible with the new generation of Inmarsat global satellite broadband LAN, 3G communication capabilities.

  Due to the flexible features, satellite solution is always the preferred emergency communications. In fact, in recent years the satellite phone is progressing more flexible, and more high speed, following video shows the world’s most advanced satellite phone (not for advertisement purpose):

Satellite backhaul + small cell

  “Satellite backhaul + small cell” solutions, one of the main solution to cover remote town or rural areas, quickly meet the emergency communications needs with fast deployment. Thailand’s satellite communications company Thaicom announced that they had sent engineers to carry rescue equipment rushed to Nepal. From their website, I found their emergency communications equipment as following:

Satellite backhaul + small cell

Satellite backhaul + small cell

  Emergency.lu, one of the global disaster relief and rapid communications solutions humanitarian operations, also went to Nepal. In support of SES Global satellite company, Emergency.lu’s rescue communications solutions actually also deployed satellite backhaul + small cell approach.

Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) & Emergency.lu

Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) & Emergency.lu

  Installing emergency solution to provide internet services to the humanitarian community operating there.

Satellite backhaul + unmanned aerial vehicle (or hot-air balloon)

  Another option is the satellite backhaul + unmanned aerial vehicle (or hot-air balloon), to create “air base.” 

Flying LTE small cells

Flying LTE small cells

  British operator EE has announced the program, they plan to use three years to address the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in remote areas of wireless coverage, these UAVs can hover at 1 km from the ground, to achieve coverage within 20 km range.

Backpack station

Instant Network Mini

Instant Network Mini

  Another excellent product is the portable backpack base station, launched by Vodafone. This is called Instant Network Mini backpack base station can be deployed in little than 10 minutes, weighing only 11 kilograms, can provide 2G network within a radius of 100 meters. It can be powered by solar panels and car 12V light source, with built-in battery.

Instant Network Mini2

Instant Network Mini2

  When Philippines struck by Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, Vodafone has sent 70 volunteers to the rescue. And this Instant Network Mini backpack base ensure the normal 1.4 million SMS traffic and more than 40 million calls services.

Backpack station solution

Backpack station solution

  Come on! Bring the backpack station, go!

Earthquake triggered a rethinking of the network structure

  March 11, 2011, the Japanese earthquake and the accompanying large-scale disasters caused by tsunami and aftershocks, made the local Japanese telecommunications networks totally destroyed.
  Although the operators sent a large number of emergency communications vehicles, generators and battery backup, 90% of communication for a few days still are blocked, in the epicenter Tohuku region.

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