The Republic of the Philippines and Japan along with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recently signed a cooperation agreement for the development of a Movable and Deployable ICT Resource Unit (MRDU) that can be deployed in areas to provide broadband communications before, during and the conduct of relief operations after natural disasters.
Research and development (R&D) on the Movable Deployable ICT Resource Unit (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/or 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, storage devices, and designed to bring not only a communications infrastructure but also data center functions to a disaster-stricken area in a very short time.
According to Toshikazu Sakano, Project leader of the MDRU R&D Project, “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 the all-weather communications system not dependent on cellular networks currently under development by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on the request by President Aquino in the wake of super typhoon Yolanda.
Undersecretary Louis Casambre of the ICT Office of the DOST was very appreciative of Japan’s continued support for Philippine Development. “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.” Usec. Casambre said.
The ITU, the third signatory to the cooperation agreement provided assistance immediately after typhoon Yolanda, providing essential telecommunications equipment to assist in the relief efforts. The MDRU project will have an initial budget of CHF 217,711.00 (PhP 10,654,413). Project management and administration of the project will be provided by the ITU.
The unit will be a donation of the Japanese Government and supported by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The unit will be tested and deployed in San Remigio, Cebu, a town that has not yet fully recovered its ICT infrastructure after typhoon Yolanda.
About DOST-ICT Office – The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.
Photo with Caption
Philippines Japan sign Agreement for Disaster Communications – Undersecretary Louis Casambre of the DOST ICT Office (left) is shown here with Mr. Soichiro Seki Director-General for International Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan (center) and Mr. Brahima Sanou Director of BDT of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) (right) after the signing of the cooperation agreement for the development of the Movable and Deployable ICT Resource Unit (MRDU) that can be used before, during and after calamities.
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