Industry Suppliers Offer Help After Typhoon Haiyan (12/13/13)
Friday, December 13, 2013 | Comments

By Sandra Wendelken
Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines and Southeast Asia in early November, was the deadliest on record, killing more than 6,000 people in the country alone. Mission-critical communications suppliers and distributors have stepped in to offer equipment and technical services to ensure first responders and the public can communicate.

Harris has four different divisions contributing to the relief efforts. Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications (PSPC), through a dealer in Manila, sent a deployable Project 25 (P25) system to the area devastated by the storm. Harris’ Australian office provided about 100 multiband portable radios. The company sent two technical experts to help set up the system and integrate it into the existing communications or replace systems no longer functioning.

The Manila dealer packaged the transportable system and shipped it to the area of the typhoon, said Chris Leonard, Harris PSPC director international and Department of Justice programs. The company also sent its BeOn application that allows P25 radios to interoperate with commercial cellular networks.

“Not only did we enable first responders with P25 radios but we can expand that network to people on the cellular system,” Leonard said.

Other divisions of Harris are providing satellite airtime and terminals, line-of-site radios and portable cellular equipment. “All the Harris divisions are providing support and technical expertise,” he said.

Separately, Zetron, a provider of mission-critical communications systems, completed a fund drive that raised $7,890 for the American Red Cross relief effort to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The contributions include donations from Zetron employees and matching funds from both the company and Zetron President and CEO Ellen O’Hara.

“As a company that is focused on emergency-response capabilities, we understand how important it is to help when such a catastrophic event occurs,” said O’Hara. “I’m proud to have been able to join with Zetron employees in their generous support of the American Red Cross and its efforts to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan.”

RADWIN joined forces with sister company RAD Data Communications to contribute 20 point-to-point links to service providers in the Philippines' following the typhoon. The systems will help re-establish communications networks in a number of typhoon-ravaged areas. The wireless systems can be set up in hours and enable the transmission of voice, video and data over a secured wireless link.

"Haiyan typhoon has left unimaginable destruction, and many areas have been cut off from communications,” said Maurice Illouz, RADWIN general manager Asia/Pacific. “Restoring the network infrastructure has become an essential part of the emergency recovery process. We hope that our donation will assist Philippine's operators to re-establish communications networks to help facilitate relief efforts."

Last month, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) dispatched emergency telecommunications equipment to areas severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

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