I can’t see, so when my radio was destroyed in the cyclone, I felt very isolated. Now that I have a radio, I feel like I can see!
Trilogy Emergency Response Application (TERA)
The TERA (Trilogy Emergency Response Application) provided by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, enables two-way communication via SMS text messaging with disaster-affected people during an emergency.
The system connects to the GSM mobile network operator's switch to detect which mobile phones are active and which cell sites they are connected to. This allows messages to be targeted by geographic area and also avoids causing network congestion through large numbers of undelivered text messages. The geographic targeting is ideal for managing communication about specific aid services and immunisation campaigns. It also allows for targeted warnings to be issued e.g. for flash flooding.
TERA provides complete control to the mobile operator with the ability to throttle the number of messages being sent over their network by the system. It provides the mobile operator with a black list to allow specific numbers to be excluded from the system. Individual subscribers can also opt out (and opt back in) of the service.
Inbound SMS messages are scanned for keywords. These keywords can be used to trigger an automated message in response. This allows very high volumes of messages to be managed.
For more information contact:
Robin Burton: email@example.com
Mobile: +44 7843 241371
Will Rogers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: +60 193232480
What mobile platform does it run on? The system communicates with any mobile phone, from the most basic to the most sophisticated. It uses SMS text because it is one of the most basic GSM services and will, along with voice, be one the first services to be restored following a disaster. SMS text is also stored on the mobile phone supporting a ""run and tell"" strategy to reach those without working mobile phones.
Does it require an internet connection to work? No
If it doesn't require an internet connection, what kind of equipment/network is required for it to run? The management system can be run on a laptop in the disaster affected country. Alternatively it can be run remotely via an IP link. This is the preferred method. IFRC intends to pre-position TERA in as many countries as possible in advance of any disaster. This will allow the system to move into operation immediately.
In the operator, the system runs on twin servers (for redundancy) under LINUX.
Is it open source? No
Is technical support available? Yes
Who provides this? Trilogy International Partners
Where has it been used successfully and why? The system was developed following the Haiti earthquake. It proved highly successful, arguably delivering more than $3 Million of value to the aid effort.
The principal reason for success was that the system was designed by a mobile network operator working in co-operation with the IFRC, ensuring that the needs of both parties were catered for.
Who are your existing partners?
Additional Information: IFRC is happy to discuss the use of TERA with any agency. If you think that we might be able to help you, please do get in touch.