Ericsson has contributed equipment and expertise to enhance the United Nations’ capacity during relief operations, partnering with their Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in order to coordinate support to multiple humanitarian organisations.
Ericsson introduced Wireless LAN in Disaster and Emergency Response (WIDER), on behalf of OCHA to provide wireless hotspots and telecommunications between different relief agencies at the disaster site and to Internet via satellite. WIDER was first installed and utilized in the aftermath of the severe earthquake in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.
In Pakistan, Ericsson employees installed WIDER, which provided relief personnel with wireless network connectivity to an intranet that was maintained and updated for information transfer both within the relief organizations’ own networks and among personnel. The relief camp was then linked via OCHA’s VSAT system to provide common access to international voice and Internet connectivity; The Ericsson Response system and support provided all relief workers access to a common network, enabling them to share the same local information. In light of this success, OCHA has asked Ericsson to make WIDER available for future emergencies.