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Satellites operators offer support during humanitarian crises

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9 September 2015

The EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) pledges its support to helping President Juncker address key challenges facing the Union.

 As Europe deals with issues from the migration crisis to economic stability and growth, ESOA Members, including the world’s leading operators, affirmed their support to help enable robust and effective communications for Europe as governments strive to ensure cross-border security control, contribute to humanitarian efforts in Syria and elsewhere and ensure continued economic growth at home.

 Satellite operators are very often first on call when it comes to dealing with disasters, as their space-based infrastructure is naturally resilient to events happening on the ground. This, coupled with their portability and ability to bring immediate communications no matter where you are, means that the humanitarian community relies on them when responding to a disaster. This year alone, ESOA member equipment and solutions have been on the ground in Vanuatu, Nepal, Myanmar, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi and Syria. Right now, European satellite operators are enabling communications across UN refugee camps in Jordan as the influx of migrants continues.

Reliable communications are a key component for monitoring EU borders and dealing with human emergencies in the Mediterranean. Entities like EUNAVFOR rely on mobile satellite communications for safe operations and help EU authorities better manage the flow of refugees.

“Satellite communications can literally save lives: a few months ago, a 500 person boat filled with Syrian refugees, mainly women and children was about to capsize as it was overloaded. Luckily one man on board was a doctor and had a satellite phone, which he used to summon help. He didn't have credit so he called the ESOA Member’s helpline that customers usually use to recharge their phones with credit when in remote areas. He explained the urgency of the situation and within seconds, the satellite operator was able to provide the precise location of the ship to Interpol and the Italian coast guard and within an hour every person on that ship was saved.” - Aarti Holla, ESOA Secretary General.

ESOA Members stand ready to support EU institutions and Member States administrations in their efforts to find a long lasting solution to refugee crisis in Europe.

About ESOA:
ESOA is a Brussels-based trade association whose membership brings together all European, Middle-East and African satellite operators and supporting members including service providers, manufacturers and launch service providers. Set up in 2002, the association's mission is to provide a unified voice and a platform for collaboration for satellite operators to ensure the continued success of the sector and to broaden the opportunities for policy makers to leverage satellite services to fulfil their objectives.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

▶︎ ESOA-PR-SoU.pdf

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