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Telenor Pakistan’s efforts to accommodate IDPs

  • Posted On: 10th June 2013
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Telenor Pakistan’s efforts to improve communication infrastructure to accommodate IDPs
Telenor Pakistan has a deeply entrenched philosophy of social responsibility and a tradition of being the first to extend both financial and manpower support in disaster relief. The first Rs. 2 million, pledged by Telenor Pakistan, has been handed over to NWFP Chief Secretary’s Emergency Relief Cell. Telenor Pakistan also setup a fund with the help of employee contribution, which will be used to fund second phase of relief activity. The second cheque of Rs. 1.7 million of employee donations was handed over to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society. PRCS is hosting the largest camp for IDPs in Swabi, where it can cater to over 2500 families.
In the aftermath of displacement of hundreds of thousands of people of Lower Dir, Buner and Swat, Telenor Pakistan announced a relief package for IDPs. The package includes provision of aid for food items sufficing for a hundred families of eight persons each for a period of one month. Apart from problems that were directly related to food, clothing and shelter, the affectees also had to face issues pertaining to health, transportation and communications. In line with its concept of Shared Value, Telenor Pakistan extended help towards rejuvenating and enhancing the communications facilities in the area.
Telenor Pakistan is enabling uninterrupted communication facilities in the area through capacity enhancement at camp sites in Mardan and Swabi. NWFP Chief Secretary’s Emergency Relief Cell workers have been provided with 50 SIMS with free air time to facilitate telecommunication needs. The relief cell will use the facility to disseminate information to all associated numbers through a single message and will help in organising the relief efforts across multiple camps in Swabi and Mardan.

Telenor Pakistan’s IT and Technical Division formed special teams to explore the opportunities to enhance the communications facility in the pertaining areas. The capacity enhancement will provide additional bandwidth to support uninterrupted communications and handle additional load created because of high influx of population at a concentrated area.

With close coordination of Public and Government Affairs (PGA) Department, Technical and IT Division and the Radio Frequency and Planning (RF Planning) Department, Telenor Pakistan immediately chose to analyse the affected areas for capacity enhancement opportunities. The specially designed teams explored the communication facilities that could either be added or enhanced to improve connectivity in the region. Expansions were added to the towers to ensure availability of increased bandwidth for call and data flows. Cell on Wheels (CoW), like Telenor used in Balochistan after the recent earthquake, were also considered for filling the gap of frequency but the state-of-the-art expansions on the BTS towers sufficed. RF and Planning visited the camps in Jalala, Sheikh Shahzad, Chota Lahore, Shah Mansoor, Mazdoor Abad, Sheikh Yasin, Cricket Dag and Elemmentary College Anbar. Out of these, the largest camp was that of Shah Mansoor holding over 14000 IDPs. Sheikh Yasin and Sheikh Shahzad Camps collectively held 25,000 IDPs. The current traffic capacity was measured for all these camps and a total of 75 expansions were added to the pertaining sites. RF and Planning has also introduced regular scanning of these areas to remain aware of the changing needs of communications and enhance facilities accordingly. Shah Mansoor, Cricket Dag and Elemmentary College Anbar cell sites currently are providing good capacity are under monitoring for future trends to enhance traffic capacity.
While IDP Cells’ Traffic and KPI’s have been monitored on daily basis, a comprehensive drive test on May 12 revealed that all sites were performing satisfactory, however, increasing traffic at Sheikh Shahzad and Sheikh Yasin Camps were met with addition of a sector. A total of 22 Expansions were then installed to provide additional capacity resources for the traffic increase.
The capacity enhancement initiatives by Telenor Pakistan in the mentioned camp areas are currently serving no less than 70,000 IDPs and are capable of accommodating thousands more.
Photo ‘IDPs Cheque’: Faisal Khan Sadozai, Regional Director S&D North, handing over cheque to Secretary to Government of NWFP, Hifz Ur Rehman;
Photo ‘IDP employee Cheque‘: Director Corporate Communications & Responsibility Syed Hasnat Masood handing over employee donation cheque for IDPs to PRCS Secretary-General Brig. Muhammad Ilyas Khan on 20 May 2009

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