Thuraya Telecommunications Company is the recipient of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Humanitarian Award in recognition of the company’s contribution to the ITU’s global efforts to utilise information and communication technologies to save lives during emergencies. This is reportedly the first time that ITU has presented such an award to an organisation.
Thuraya’s chief executive officer, Samer Halawi attended the award ceremony held on October 15 in Dubai during the ITU Telecom World 2012 Conference, whereby he accepted, on behalf of the company, the honour awarded by the ITU’s secretary general, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré.
Halawi, Thuraya’s CEO said, “On behalf of Thuraya and our employees, we are truly honoured to receive this recognition by the ITU for our contribution in providing mobile satellite communications services during times of emergency and disaster recovery. As an organisation, we consider ourselves fortunate to work in an industry with such an important social contribution to make. We are fully committed to serving humanity by delivering the essential tools for clear voice, data and video communications, and never leaving anyone out of reach.”
Halawi also spoke at the ITU Telecom World 2012 Leadership Summit session on the subject of emergency telecommunication, where he emphasised the importance of pre-deployment of satellite communications equipment to ensure that countries take necessary steps to equip their emergency centers with satellite terminals for use during times of emergency or disaster recovery situations. He urged relief organisations to conduct frequent and periodic testing and training of their personnel to ensure preparedness in the event of a disaster.
Halawi stressed the important role which mobile satellite networks such as Thuraya play in times of disaster recovery and relief operations. He added that terrestrial networks are often the first casualty during natural disasters and fixed satellite networks are not able to be deployed as rapidly, flexibly, and cost-efficiently as mobile satellite networks.