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TSF uses GX for emergency comms following Mozambique cyclones

Posted 9 May 2019 · Add Comment

Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) is continuing its emergency communications operations using Inmarsat's Global Xpress (GX) satellite connections, following the strongest cyclone ever recorded in Mozambique.



Above:
Man on satellite phone.
Courtesy Inmarsat


While the situation is slowly improving on the mainland, TSF teams have moved to the island of Ibo, 100 km (62 miles) north of Pemba, the regional capital of Cabo Delgado state, which experienced more than 2m (6.5ft) of rain and flooding when 220km/h (140mph) Cyclone Kenneth made landfall on 25 April.

In Ibo, where the local mobile network and electricity grid have been severely damaged, TSF is assessing the telecommunication needs of the local population and is collaborating with humanitarian agencies active on the ground. Satellite equipment has been made available so they can better coordinate operations with their teams inland.

In Pemba, local networks have been repaired but the signal is unstable so TSF is maintaining Global Xpress satellite connections being used by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) hub and Mozambique’s National Disasters Management Institute (INGC) centre. Last week TSF also provided connectivity in Macomia, 200 km (124 miles) north of Pemba, for a meeting of the President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi with the humanitarian coordination teams.

Cyclone Kenneth struck barely a month after the devastating Cyclone Idai, killing at least 38 people and destroying tens of thousands more homes. TSF was already on the ground supporting ongoing relief efforts after the first disaster, connecting over 90 humanitarian organisations and offering free satellite calls to 2,500 people affected by the tropical storm

Global Xpress (GX) has been delivering seamless, high-speed broadband connectivity all around the world since December 2015. The GX constellation is now made up of four Ka-band, high-speed mobile broadband communications satellites, following the launch of Inmarsat-5 F4.

  • I-5 F1 – launched on 6th December 2013 to serve Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia
  • I-5 F2 – launched on 1st February 2015 to serve the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean Region
  • I-5 F3 – launched on 28th August 2015 to serve the Pacific Ocean Region.
  • I-5 F4 – launched on 15th May 2017 to add robustness to the Global Xpress network.

The first three I-5 satellites were launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and together they provide the coverage required to deliver global GX services: Each I-5 satellite is expected to have a commercial life of 15 years.
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