Global satellite communications specialist IEC Telecom, along with mobile-satellite service provider Thuraya, introduced its Rapid Deployment Kit (RDK), designed to provide Humanitarian Response Teams with reliable connectivity during COVID-19 and support emergency and disaster relief efforts even in the most remote areas.
With over 126 million people in need of humanitarian assistance globally, including 70 million forcibly displaced, governments and the global community are stressing the significance of on-time medical and humanitarian responses.
The RDK solution enables frontline workers to respond immediately and effectively to mitigate the wider secondary impacts of the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has proved that timely communication is of utmost importance. Satellite technologies play a crucial role in monitoring and managing the situation in challenging environments. Our latest Rapid Deployment Kit (RDK) offers high speed connectivity, previously reserved only for VSAT users, via a compact and portable solution. RDK can easily be deployed in a short span of time without the need for an onsite technician, enabling mobile humanitarian missions with reliable connectivity for an immediate response,” said Nabil Ben Soussia, CEO Asia, Middle East & CIS.
RDK is a technological breakthrough, powered by Thuraya broadband terminals and the OneGate Aid Compact network management system from IEC Telecom. The new solution provides field missions with a VSAT-like experience anywhere they go. RDK is equipped with bandwidth optimisation and advanced filtration tools, offering a user experience up to 2+ Mbps, which allows taking full advantage of digitalisation, including videoconferencing, remote maintenance, telemedicine, and more for smooth communications during critical humanitarian missions.
Understanding the need to keep communication budgets under control, RDK was developed accounting for cost optimisation. It offers a seamless switch to 4G in areas with GSM coverage with least cost routing. Consumption control and network status can be monitored at all times via digital dashboards: full admin control over central management dashboard is available to the CIO/ IT department at HQ and a local dashboard with limited access for the operational chief onsite.
During times of a pandemic imposing strict quarantine measures, staff rotation is impossible or severely restricted. RDK is a future-ready solution, enabling updates and upgrades of virtual machines remotely without the need for onsite maintenance. Not only will the missions benefit from the reduced cost of staff logistics, but also save on purchase of additional hardware.
Moreover, RDK helps to boost the morale of frontline workers by enabling internet access over a welfare network and ensures the cyber security of classified corporate files by keeping the corporate and welfare network links separate. IEC Telecom’s OneGate system allows for the efficient management of voucher credits for internet access, and thanks to an inbuilt Wi-Fi enabler, frontline workers can connect to the network using their own devices.
The lightweight kit is portable with removable batteries, and as such, accepted in commercial flights. Conveniently packed in an exceptionally durable suitcase, the kit can resist harsh travel conditions and be deployed in no time, ensuring immediate coverage and support for end-to-end humanitarian services.
Nabil Ben Soussia added, “COVID-19 is affecting the operations of aid and NGO organisations. Connectivity plays a central role to ensure that operational reports are submitted on a regular basis. While urban areas with developed telecom infrastructure are well equipped to pass critical information immediately, many rural communities are at a disadvantage. Satcom supports humanitarian missions in areas with limited or no GSM coverage. Thuraya's robust satellite MSS network provides uninterrupted coverage across two-thirds of the globe even in the most remote locations. RDK is a joint solution by IEC Telecom and Thuraya meant to empower frontline workers with dependable connectivity when and where they need it.”