Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Communication Gaps

Mobile phone and radio communications can be an important part of an organization's safety and security plan. If someone gets in trouble or needs assistance, a phone call or radio transmission can be part of the first steps in resolving the problem. All too often though, many humanitarian workers and managers aren't fully aware of gaps that exist in their communications systems. "Dead spots" or "black spots" are fairly common in mobile phone and radio systems. These are places where for one reason or another, incoming, outgoing or both types of communication, may be limited or non-existent (for example, here's a UN map of black spots in Kenya). Needless to say, it's good practice to identify coverage gaps in your operating area and make all staff aware of them.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANSO did a similar study in Afghanistan. This study triggered a reaction from local mobile companies to improve the quality of the signal whenever possible.
Therefore, whenever aidworkers notice black areas they should share this information as sometimes mobile companies are not even aware of the existence of them. How and with who they should share it is a different issue.
Still, when on the road, aidworkers should not rely on a single mean but always have an alternate mean (HF, VHF, satellite phone,...) and know how to use them...:)

2:09 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Sat phones to the rescue!

4:55 AM  

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