The humanitarian association Telecommunications Without Borders (TSF) provides connectivity wireless Emergency free admission for Ukrainian refugees. It also works with various NGOs that help people close to the front lines of the conflict, providing them with equipment.
For 24 years, the French organization Telecom without borders Intervention in all major international crises. It sent a technical team to the scene just days after Russia’s offensive against Ukraine began. NGOs are concerned that the telecommunications networks that broadcast the internet and phone calls will be disrupted, saturated or unusable due to sabotage or hacking.
under such circumstances #war, many families find themselves separated. For those fleeing to neighbouring countries, usually women and children, communication remains the only possible link. That’s why TSF provides telecommunications support to refugees and humanitarian organizations. #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/7q3ZsI2rG0
– Telecommunications Without Borders (TSF) (@TSF_Intl) March 18, 2022
But Ukraine is resisting, and its telecommunications network is maintained, thanks to the mobilization of local operators who diligently monitor their integrity, also aided by international solidarity. For example, private operators such as T-Mobile, Orange and Play offer mobile SIM cards with data capacity so Ukrainian refugees can access information on the Web and social networks. They also have the option to make free calls.
NGOs like Telecommunications Without Borders, which now have eight people on the battlefield, are also operating. They are distributed between Poland, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. ” We have several areas of intervention ”, said William Natta, Director of Communications at RFI Telecoms Without Borders.” We begin in Poland by assessing the situation and needs of refugees arriving in different countries and coordinating with other humanitarian actors to best respond to the crisis created by this war. Then we deployed in Moldova, Romania and Ukraine to meet the urgency of the connectivity needs we could meet. We carried out several operations, notably Wifi connectivity by transporting many refugees leaving the country in the bus from the Ukrainian city to Bucharest, Romania. We provide this connection on the bus to help them stay connected to their loved ones, but also to find information about their future destinations so they can rebuild their lives. In addition, we have equipped Ukrainian humanitarian NGOs and Odessa City Hall with satellite communication equipment in case the city’s local network is disrupted by the war. »
Technical assistance that may involve risks
Telecoms Sans Frontières also exists in the Lviv region of western Ukraine, where Russian troops have so far been relatively unscathed, but the conflict has intensified. The organization provides satellite phones to the Ukrainian NGO Vostok-SOS, which provides medical care and food supplies to help people in the region. Télécoms sans frontières also took the opportunity to deploy emergency satellite links in white areas, where many villages were not covered before the war.
But this use of satellite connections is risky, and the TSF warns that the signals from the devices are immediately visible and locatable. They can easily turn you into a target, and the NGO’s instruction to their users is to send messages as short as possible and move immediately after the broadcast.