Satellite system allows developing nations share weather, health data

A new satellite-based information system will quickly spread environmental and health data across the world so that developing countries can anticipate catastrophes such as drought, storms and floods, for only about $1,500   in setup costs, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the GEONETCast system, to be unveiled at an international conference in Bonn, Germany, will permit governments in poorer nations to tap information from the sophisticated satellites and weather stations run largely by the world's richer industrial countries, organizers say.

For example, officials trying to contain wildfires could use near real-time data on wind speed, wind direction and surface temperature to ease the impact of the disaster, the report said.

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The information system makes the information available at low cost by using satellite transmission that can be pulled down and read using a satellite dish and readily available software, keeping startup costs minimal. It is expected to begin operating next year, officials say.\n

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The reliance on satellite links means it can reach areas without good Internet access, although a Web portal is expected to be part of the system for use in countries where Internet capacity is readily available, the report said.\n

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The system is to be demonstrated at a conference of the Group on Earth Observations, comprising 66 countries, the European Union and 43 international organizations, the report further said.\n

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Telecom Europe (business)

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Wal-Mart inks deal with Indian telco

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US retail giant Wal-Mart has signed a tie-up deal with India\'s Bharti Airtel to open a chain of retail stores across the country, an Associated Pres report, quoting a Bharti official, said.\n

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Sunil B. Mittal, Bharti Airtel\'s CEO however declined to divulge the financial details of the deal, but said it would be a huge investment involving hundreds of stores in \nIndia, the Associated Press report said.

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The information system makes the information available at low cost by using satellite transmission that can be pulled down and read using a satellite dish and readily available software, keeping startup costs minimal. It is expected to begin operating next year, officials say.

The reliance on satellite links means it can reach areas without good Internet access, although a Web portal is expected to be part of the system for use in countries where Internet capacity is readily available, the report said.

The system is to be demonstrated at a conference of the Group on Earth Observations, comprising 66 countries, the European Union and 43 international organizations, the report further said.

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