Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Ericsson Works with United Nations on Wireless Emergency Responses

Ericsson is working with the United Nations to aid and improve emergency telecommunication response capabilities. Specifically, Ericsson will provide a complete mobile telecommunications solution that can be rapidly deployed to selected humanitarian operations and that will be installed, operated and maintained by Ericsson employees.

Ericsson noted that over the past seven years it has contributed equipment and expertise to enhance the United Nations' capacity during relief operations, partnering with their Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in order to coordinate support to multiple humanitarian organizations.

For example, Ericsson's Wireless LAN in Disaster and Emergency Response (WIDER) system, which provides wireless hotspots and telecommunications at a disaster site, was deployed in the aftermath of the severe earthquake in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. This natural disaster killed more than 70,000 people and left millions homeless in October 2005.

Ericsson has also donated a global system for mobile communications (GSM) to OCHA. The UN Peacekeeping Operation in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo is currently connected to this system. The system complements the fixed network, radio and satellite connections currently used in humanitarian missions and is installed in Brindisi, Italy, the hub for satellite telecommunications connecting all UN missions.