After four days trekking across the devastated landscape of Nepal, Inmarsat-sponsored Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has reached communities living in the foothills of the Himalayas, cut off from the outside world since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit on 25 April.

TSF immediately set up Humanitarian Calling Operations to offer locals free IsatPhone Pro satellite calls so that they could contact family and loved ones for the first time since the disaster struck to let them know they were safe.

With no aid reaching the isolated communities, the team will also be coordinating much needed relief efforts and support.

Emergency Support

Since the Government of Nepal declared a state of emergency, TSF has been working tirelessly to assist with emergency satellite communications support, collaborating with local UN coordination agencies to assess the damaged areas.

Telecoms centres have been established to aid the humanitarian community and to date TSF has:

– Set up its base in the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Camp and deployed the first Inmarsat BGAN satellite broadband support for the UN Off-Site Operation Coordination Centre (OSOCC)

– Utilised BGAN satellite connectivity to support the UN Reception Departure Centre at the airport

– Deployed two trekking teams to reach isolated villages in the mountains

As mobile network coverage is restored in the most populated areas at the bottom of the mountains, many villages have remained disconnected for over a week.

TSF continues with operations in the Sindhupalchock and the Dhading Districts using IsatPhone Pros, BGAN, GPS and satellite trackers to identify affected areas without coverage and to quickly set up additional Humanitarian Calling Operations.