Wireless welfare

The United Nations has installed Proxim wireless kit to boost the communications of the World Food Programme in a bid to better serve disaster-stricken countries.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  November 5, 2005

The United Nations (UN) has boosted the communications of the World Food Programme (WFP) in a bid to better serve disaster-stricken countries. The WFP has installed Proxim wireless network technology to provide voice and data communications to parts of Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan without existing infrastructure. The implementation extends several benefits to the programme, including improving cooperation with partners in or en route to disaster areas, enhancing the coordination of delivery trucks and allowing WFP employees to access e-mail and the internet. Over 100 Proxim wireless access points and backhaul links to a satellite service have been sold by the vendor’s regional distributor NexTech and installed by WFP’s technical intervention teams. Proxim QuickBridge is being used for terrestrial backhaul and AP-700 and AP-4000 access points have been deployed for local area networks. When the WFP finishes work in a given area, the infrastructure will be redeployed elsewhere. The UN plumped for Proxim largely due to its presence in the region. “Proxim was chosen over major competitors because of ease of implementation, competitive prices, reliability in the field, availability of stock within the region, and the availability of local support through integrator partners,” says Peter Casier, director of the WFP Support Office. The WFP is reputedly the largest humanitarian organisation in the world and annually delivers 5.5 million tons of food aid to an average of 113 million people in over 80 countries.

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