PH, Japan sign deal to create mobile broadband unit for disasters

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ICT Office chief Louis Casambre (left) is shown with Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications director-general for international affairs Soichiro Seki (center), and ITU?s Brahima Sanou (right), after the signing of the cooperation agreement for the development of the MRDU ICT Office chief Louis Casambre (left) is shown with Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications director-general for international affairs Soichiro Seki (center), and ITU?s Brahima Sanou (right), after the signing of the cooperation agreement for the development of the MRDU[/caption] The MDRU project will have an initial budget of P10,654,413. Project management and administration of the project will be provided by the ITU. The unit will be donated by the Japanese government, with the support of the ITU. It will be tested and deployed in San Remigio, Cebu ? a town that still lacks an ICT infrastructure after the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda. Research and development on the MDRU started in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 with the support of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan (MIC), Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), and other Japanese ICT organizations. It is a unit that can be quickly deployed to restore communications in communities in the aftermath of a disaster. The unit is self-reliant running on its own power source, and is able to harness other power sources such as power generators or local active power lines. The unit is in its final R&D phase. The MDRU is approximately the same size as a 12-foot-long shipping container. It is equipped with an array of communications equipment, servers and storage devices, and is designed to bring not only a communications infrastructure but also data center functions to a disaster-stricken area in a short time. According to Toshikazu Sakano, project leader of the MDRU R&D: ?Within approximately one hour of being set up, the MDRU is operational and providing services such as harnessing the wireless LAN of nearby areas to enable people in the affected area to make phone calls. It also efficiently supports on-site evacuation shelter operations.? The MDRU will complement the R&D for an all-weather communications system not dependent on cellular networks, which is currently being developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on the request by President Aquino in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda. ?The MDRU will go a long way in the development of the Resilient Communications System we are currently working on, as soon as it is developed with intend to position them in several key areas and be readily deployed as soon as they are needed,? Undersecretary Louis Casambre of the DOST?s ICT Office said.]]>

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