Expert of the Week   for  06 - 12 Oct 2014

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Igor Kryuchkov

Managing Director

T3 Risk Management SA Expertise:  Disaster preparedness and recovery hardware. Disaster contingency planning. Security solutions. IT Security consulting. Investment advisory. International tax consulting.

Mr. Igor Kryuchkov received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and the Masters in Business Administration from Cornell University. Prior to 2004 he had worked at several large financial institutions in the United States and Canada, focusing on providing financial advice to companies of all sizes, as well as institutional investors. After relocating to London, Igor specialized in working with international commodity trading companies and wealthy families. His areas of expertise included all aspects of risk management (financial, legal, and regulatory). During his stay in London, Igor became increasingly aware of the financial and human costs imposed by both natural and man-made disasters. In 2013, Mr. Kryuchkov founded T3 Risk Management SA in Geneva. As part of its disaster risk management offering, T3 consults on preparation and implementation of highly customized contingency plans, designed to protect our clients’ assets and ensure safety of their families in the event of natural or man-made emergency situations. Additionally, the company supplies a wide range of associated equipment, including satellite telecommunication hardware and backup power systems. T3 Risk Management SA works with high net worth individuals, family offices, corporate service providers and SMEs from around the world.

The role of satellite communication equipment in preparedness and recovery: how to make the best use of an important tool.

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QQuestion by Mr Gordon Rattray

Communications technology is becoming easier to make accessible (smartphones/webpages/...) which in turn means more inclusion of people with disabilities. How do we ensure this assists in preparedness and recovery of most at-risk populations?

Mr Gordon Rattray Emergency Communications Coordinator | CBM

APosted on 11 Oct 2014

Thank you very much for your question. Every disabled person and each particular disability requires an individual approach. There is no single solution within the DRR context that provides a one-size-fits-all answer. However, we feel that recent advances in technology, when combined together, can go a long way towards addressing the needs of the at-risk populations. I am referring to robotics, renewable energy backup power generators, and, of course, satellite communication.

In terms of satcom DRR applications, I can think of IP video surveillance cameras where satellite systems act as a backup for when terrestrial networks suffer an outage (internet connection automatically switches from regular broadband to satellite). I can also refer to personal tracking equipment and the built-in one-touch SOS buttons in most of our portable hardware. Additionally, satcom systems can be used by the relevant government agencies to establish reliable two way communication with the disabled and their caretakers (for example, mass SMS alerts).

I hope I understood your question correctly. If you need additional information or clarification, please contact me on We would be happy to help.

QQuestion by Mr Dave Paul zervaas

Dear Mr Kryuchkov,

In your view, is it possible to provide sustainable equipment solutions to countries/economies that have relatively few financial resources or few trained people in the IT area ?

Mr Dave Paul zervaas Program Officer | UNISDR

APosted on 07 Oct 2014

Thank you very much for an excellent question. One of the biggest misconceptions about satellite communication equipment is that it is very expensive to buy and difficult to operate. While that was the case 10 years ago, this description no longer applies.

On the cost side, in terms of investment in hardware  - all major networks, including Inmarsat, Iridium and Thuraya, have been consistently focused on making the hardware financially accessible to as many types of customers as possible.

One of the recent examples of product innovation is Iridium Go!. It is a virtually pocket-size device that connects to the satellite network and creates a wi-fi hotspot, allowing up to 5 different users to make calls, send e-mails and access social networks using their regular smartphones and tablets. Considering the built-in capabilities, we think that the retail price tag of just under USD 1,000 is very reasonable. We have had very significant demand for these units in recent months.

Another example is the Thuraya SatSleeve - a little docking station that converts your iPhone or Galaxy device into a satellite telephone, eliminating the need to carry a mobile phone and a separate satellite handset. The SatSleeve ensures that you always have access to communication networks no matter what happens, including voice and e-mails.

On the satellite data transmission front, Inmarsat will be shortly bringing out two new products - IsatHub and Explorer 510. These two portable data terminals will be real game changers, making proper broadband connectivity very affordable with price tags of USD 1,500 and USD 2,500 respectively.

Of course you also need to take into account airtime costs. Here there is also a huge range of options with different plans available for the humanitarian agencies, country-specific vouchers, etc. But even a generic, undiscounted, prepaid voucher for iridium will give you a cost of  as low as USD 1.00 per minute on voice calls (there is no roaming involved).

As far as difficulty of operating the equipment is concerned, the only type of hardware that requires prior training are the fixed VSAT terminals. Everything else is quite simple to set up and operate out of the box.

It is important to note that for DRR purposes the goal is not to equip every person in a country with satellite equipment. The goal is to make sure that key government agencies can communicate with each other in case a disaster strikes. To that end, even a few portable data terminals and a handful of satellite phones can make a huge difference in coordinating the recovery efforts.

We would be happy to answer also any equipment-specific questions.