Melbourne company wins Sudan relief comms deal

A Melbourne-based Australian-owned communications provider will supply satellite-based broadband services to United Nations relief teams working in refugee camps in the conflict-ridden Darfur region in western Sudan.Multiemedia told the Australian Stock Exchange today its NewSat division had secured a contract with Sudan's national telecommunications company SudaTel to supply the services to the relief teams.

A Melbourne-based Australian-owned communications provider will supply satellite-based broadband services to United Nations relief teams working in refugee camps in the conflict-ridden Darfur region in western Sudan.

Multiemedia told the Australian Stock Exchange today its NewSat division had secured a contract with Sudan's national telecommunications company SudaTel to supply the services to the relief teams.

The contract will involve the delivery via two-way broadband satellite infrastructure of Internet, data and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to the teams, who are struggling to deal with the fallout from attacks by Arab militias on civilians in the region. The attacks are so far believed to have cost the lives of around 30,000 people.

The Multiemedia deal initially encompasses 10 sites over 12 months, with that number expected to grow to 40 during the life of the contract. The company indicated it was no charity deal, saying the agreement had been struck at commercial rates. However, pricing is confidential, Multiemedia said, under the terms agreed with SudaTel.

Multiemedia's chief executive officer, Adrian Ballintine, said in a statement that while was pleased to have won the contract, he was "further delighted NewSat had been selected to assist with the relief program and contribute to the ending of this humanitarian crisis that has seen thousands killed or driven from their homes".

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