Iridium Communications has donated 25 satellite phones and batteries to the International Telecommunication Union as part of efforts to increase the organization’s emergency communications capacity for disaster response and recovery activities.
ITU said Wednesday Iridium first donated emergency telecommunication equipment to the organization in 2007.
“Iridium’s donation comes at a critical time when natural disasters are on the increase,” said Brahima Sanou, director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.
Iridium CEO Matt Desch noted that after a natural disaster, “much of the telecom infrastructure is often damaged or destroyed, making the need for communications supported by a global, reliable satellite network crucial to the recovery work that will occur in the days and weeks to come.”
ITU said it deployed 35 satellite phones — including Iridium’s handheld satellite mobile phones — and 10 Broadband Global Area Network terminals to Nepal for information exchanges between government agencies and others helping in rescue operations after the recent earthquakes in that country.