SES GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS AND O3b NETWORKS COMMISSION SERVICE TO PROVIDE NOAA WITH A HIGH PERFORMANCE NETWORK
Managed service solution delivers critical weather alerts and seismic data throughout the Pacific Region
RESTON, VA, AND ST HELIER, JERSEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS, 14 June 2016 -- SES Government Solutions (SES GS) and O3b Networks announced today that the companies have jointly completed the first O3b managed services installation for NOAA’s National Weather Service Office (NWSO) at Pago Pago, American Samoa. This remote station is responsible for providing critically important tropical weather alerts and cyclone warning information to a large part of the Pacific.
An uninterrupted high-speed data connection between the Pago Pago NWSO and the primary Pacific National Weather Service (NWS) centre in Hawaii is essential for NOAA to update forecast models and issue safety warnings in near real-time.
The task order is part of the NOAA Worldwide Satellite Communications Systems II (WSCS II) contract. The O3b service will provide a highly reliable, low latency link for passing critically important weather information between the NSWO in Pago Pago and the NWS headquarters Office on Ford Island in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a result, NWS can now rapidly deliver large weather files from observation offices in American Samoa to scientists and meteorologists in Hawaii and across the US mainland.
“SES GS is proud to provide uninterrupted, high speed data connections that are critical for NOAA’s continued push to understand and predict changes in in the natural environment that might impact safety or commerce,” said Pete Hoene, President and Chief Executive Officer of SES GS.
“O3b Networks is excited to work with SES GS and the team at NOAA on such an important project,” said Jack Deasy, Vice President, Government Sales of O3b Networks. “O3b is a game-changing technology for the US government, bringing a fiber-like connection to any difficult-to-reach place.”
The implementation included the procurement and installation of the O3b terminals, radomes and the ground segment network. Once the hardware was installed, the team supported the end-to-end service testing. The service was delivered on-time and within service level specifications, including the cutover of live traffic through the O3b network on 23 May 2016.
Visa Tap to Phone Transforms Payment Acceptance for Sellers Worldwide
Tbilisi—Oct. 23, 2020—As the world increasingly turns to digital payments amidst COVID-19, a simple mobile app can help millions of sellers worldwide quickly and securely accept contactless payments, while improving the checkout experience for customers. After piloting Visa Tap to Phone over the past year, Visa (NYSE:V) today announced product availability in more than 15 markets with plans to expand to the United States and accelerate global product growth in the rest of the world via more than 35 new partners, including Visa Ready for Tap to Phone partners.
Tap to Phone transforms current generation Android smartphones or tablets into contactless, or tap to pay, software-based point of sale (softPOS) terminals without additional hardware. As part of Visa’s commitment to digitally-enable 50 million small and micro businesses, this cost-effective tool helps businesses quickly access the digital economy, prevent lost sales and improve cash flow by accepting contactless payments anywhere, anytime. Already, the number of sellers using Tap to Phone has grown by 200% over the past year and is now live in numerous countries across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Recent launches for Tap to Phone include Belarus, Malaysia, Peru, Russia and South Africa, with upcoming launches planned in Brazil, Italy, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and more.
Opportunity for Tap to Phone by the numbers:
- Two billion Android devices globally could transform to payment acceptance machines.
- Tap to Phone holds particular promise for the 180 million micro and small merchants (MSM) around the world, where fewer than 10% of MSMs in many emerging markets currently accept digital payments.
- In a survey conducted by Visa, 63% of MSMs said they would likely implement Tap to Phone in their own businesses and more than 50% of consumers said they would likely use Tap to Phone if offered to them.
“It was just five years ago when Visa set out to enable virtually any IoT or mobile device to make payments and now today, we are enabling many of those same devices to accept payments in a very simple way with Visa Tap to Phone,” said Mary Kay Bowman, global head of buyer and seller solutions, Visa. “With billions of phones around the world at the ready, the opportunity that comes with lighting them up as payment acceptance devices is enormous. Visa Tap to Phone could be one of the most profound ways to reinvent the physical shopping experience.”
Tapping to pay, or contactless payments, is growing rapidly in the COVID-19 era. Visa has seen tap to pay payments grow by 40% year-over-year, In a recent Visa survey, nearly half of consumers (48%) said they would not shop at a store that offers only payment methods requiring contact with a cashier or shared machine like a card reader, making it critical for businesses to expand their acceptance methods beyond cash.
Reinventing In-store Shopping, No Longer Constrained to the POS
According to Visa data, casual dining, travel resources and grocery are currently the most typical category of use for softPOS solutions. However, Tap to Phone can elevate consumer experiences in additional ways including:
- Line busting: With six-foot social distancing mandates in effect, lines can become overwhelming. Tap to Phone helps employees to checkout customers quickly, anywhere around the store.
- Transit: In Japan and Belarus, Visa was first to show how Tap to Phone can help eliminate the need for standalone ticket machines and additional validation hardware for conductors.
- Nomadic and service-based businesses: Make a sale from anywhere and get paid on the spot without having a hardline POS or adding payment accessories.
- Pay on delivery: Tap to Phone decreases friction when consumers pay for delivery, eliminating the need for cash and limiting touch during the transaction.
“We always look for ways to improve our customer experience, from personalized service to ease of payment. That's where Tap to Phone comes in. Customers are always curious and impressed when we process their payment using nothing but our mobile phone. Not only has Tap to Phone been helpful for our in-store sales, but we also use it for our contactless product deliveries, helping customers stay at home and pay with their cards, which makes them gain confidence in our brand,” said Karla Avila, founder of Extenclip in Costa Rica.
Building a Global Partner Network to Accelerate Product Availability
Also announced today, the Visa Ready for Tap to Phone program will help to fast track global product availability and could reduce the functional evaluation for solution providers from almost two months to a few hours. Visa Ready for Tap to Phone now enables technology companies to become Visa Ready certified, giving sellers the peace of mind that the technology solution they choose meets Visa’s high standards for security. Initial participants of Visa Ready for Tap to Phone include Cellfie, Center of Corporate Technologies M4Bank, Digitsecure, GeoPagos, IBA Group, iCARD AD Bulgaria, MYPINPAD, PayCore, Phos, Quest, Rubean, SmartPesa, SoftPos, Soft Space and Techno.
Additional Visa approved technology, acquirer and government partners include Alfa Bank Kazakhstan, BPS Sberbank Belarus, CIMB. FirstData, FT Technologies, Halyk Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Kazpost, MagicCube. Maybank, Niubiz, Oschadbank, Paymentsense, PostePay, Priorbank, Promerica, Russian Standard Bank, Sberbank Kazakhstan, Symbiotic and Worldline/SIX Payment Services.
If you are a solution provider or acquirer interested in learning more, please visit the Visa Ready website for more details.
Tap to Phone: How It Works
Sellers download an app, supported by their acquirer, and after registering and selecting their participating bank, the sellers can start accepting contactless payments in just a few minutes. Tap to Phone builds on top of the security of an EMV chip transaction, in which each transaction contains a dynamic cryptogram that cannot be reused. To see more about how Tap to Phone works, a video demonstration is available here.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visa.com.ge, facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE
 IHS Markit cited by NFC Forum; December 2019
 “Small Merchants, Big Opportunity, The Forgotten Path to Financial Inclusion,” Dalberg
 “Understanding The Future of International Tap to Phone Acceptance Study,” Visa
 Data provided by Visa’s Tap to Phone program participants from January 2019 through September 2020.
Giorgi Gakharia: Every citizen of the country should call a doctor and get PCR tested on COVID-19 as soon as feverish or suspecting other respiratory symptoms
Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia instructed respective institutions to extend the coverage of COVID-19 tests in parallel with re-opening of the economy and on the background of increased epidemic risks. Head of the Government of Georgia held a working meeting today on the topic.
On the background of COVID-19 circulation and restrictions being lifted in the country, greater importance is acquired by the timely detection and treatment of possible cases. Every citizen should immediately call 112 or a family doctor and get PCR tested on COVID-19 if and when gets fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing or other respiratory symptoms.
As of June 11, 2020 the country has identified 6 new cases, out of which 4 are not traceable and thus contain an outright threat. Hence, Government of Georgia and healthcare professionals once again urge the population to strictly adhere to the pre-defined measures.
Gradual lifting of restrictions and resumption of the economy should not serve as a basis of lessening the effort or lead to an illusion that a virus has been defeated. Examples of various countries have been discussed at the working meeting, which have had repeated epidemic outbreaks. Significance of joint efforts and high degree of responsibility has been underlined in the process of tackling the global pandemic.
Prime Minister of Georgia and management officials of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) discussed the current stance at Fever Centers and inbound calls to 112, along with the resources required for the greater extension of testing practices. It was noted that as of today 18 labs in Georgia perform the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and this number will increase to 24 in July 2020. Average daily number of tests performed in the country is around 1500, which is expected to increase to 4500 in the nearest future. By autumn daily indicator of tests will reach 6000-8000. Along with possible cases, tests at present will be performed among some number of groups, which will be defined in the nearest future under the Government Resolution. In line with the instructions issued by the Head of Government of Georgia, stock of test kits will be periodically increased. NCDC is also replenishing its material-technical base.
Press Service of the Government Administration
UNDP, UK Government train Georgian police in human-centred and disability-sensitive service delivery
UNDP and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia signed a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to make the Patrol Police Unified Service Center more customer-focused
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia have joined hands to improve capacities and service delivery at the Ministry’s Patrol Police Unified Service Center, formerly known as Room #12.
UNDP Head Louisa Vinton and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Kakha Sabanadze signed a Memorandum of Understanding at an online meeting today.
“The Ministry of Internal Affairs is reforming its Unified Service Centre, aiming to provide high-quality one-stop-shop services to the citizens,” Sabanadze said. “Personnel training is a critical part of this reform.”
“Police work is full of stress, especially at a time of crisis like the one we are now facing,” Vinton said. “Our training is designed to equip the Unified Service Center staff with the tools and approaches they need to serve citizens effectively, especially those who are vulnerable or have special needs.”
Launched in 2018, the Unified Service Centre of the Patrol Police provides over 50 services to citizens, most of them associated with driving penalties, suspension of driving licenses, delivery of found number plates and consent to transportation of vehicles transferred to special parking lots. With UNDP support, the Centre staff will be trained in customer relations and communication, anger management and disability-sensitive service delivery.
In addition, UNDP will help the Unified Service Centre introduce a Common Assessment Framework (CAF), a total quality management instrument for the public sector that has been successfully applied by more than 4,500 public agencies in the EU Member States.
The Public Service Hall was the first public institution in Georgia to pilot the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) in 2019. UNDP is supporting the introduction of this successful practice for Georgia’s other public agencies.
UNDP’s assistance to the Ministry of Internal Affairs is part of the USD 6 million (GBP 4.5 million) UK-funded support to the Public Administration Reform in Georgia, covering three major directions of the reform: policy development, civil service reform and public service delivery.
The U.S. Government is proud to announce an additional $600,000 in emergency health assistance to support Georgia's response to COVID-19
The U.S. Government is proud to announce an additional $600,000 in emergency health assistance to support Georgia's response to COVID-19. With this new assistance, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has committed $1.7 million in emergency health assistance to support Georgia’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to help the individuals and communities who are most at risk.
The $1.7 million in emergency health assistance from USAID will help control and prevent infection and identify cases of the virus. It will include technical assistance to improve Georgia’s response and preparedness for controlling the outbreak, and for communicating information about the emergency.
The new assistance is part of a whole-of-government approach by the U.S. Government. It comes in addition to other health sector assistance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), USAID support for Georgia's economic recovery and effective provision of public services, and the nearly $140 million the U.S. has invested over the past 20 years in helping Georgia build a capable, resilient, and professional national healthcare system.
We are proud to partner with the Government of Georgia, local health professionals and civil society organizations, and international organizations to help people stay healthy and stay safe.
Government Allocates 2 Billion GEL To Directly Assist Economy, According to Giorgi Gakharia's Decision
The prime minister of Georgia would like to thank each and every citizen, particularly the residents of Tbilisi, for the understanding with which they approached yesterday's events throughout all of Georgia, especially after 21:00. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia made this statement at the session of the Interagency Coordination Council on the coronavirus.
According to the head of government, this shows how the citizens perceive a sense of shared responsibility.
"This is of extreme importance to us as it shows the way in which we jointly perceived the responsibility, which is our shared responsibility - not just of the government but of each and every citizen of this country. Above all, this is a responsibility toward one another, toward our parents, the older generation. Only thus will we be able to overcome this challenge quickly," Giorgi Gakharia stated.
The head of government discussed the decisions taken to support the economy.
According to the government's decision, 2 billion GEL has been allocated for the direct assistance of the economy as of today.
According to the prime minister's assessment, this is the assistance that will be aimed at the retention of jobs, as well as the retention of companies, ongoing production, and current businesses.
"First of all, we understand that every one of our citizens has suffered direct economic damage in connection with the measures that the government is forced to implement in order to protect the health of our citizens. This damage is often direct and tangible. In many cases, people have lost their income and their jobs. Precisely for this reason, at this stage, and considering the fact that this crisis differs from all other crises because it is impossible to make accurate predictions concerning duration, as well as in terms of correctly estimating damage to the economy, we are forced - and in contrast to all other actors, it is our responsibility - to utilize even the modest capabilities of our economy today in a manner that is as effective and rational as possible," the head of government stated.
According to Giorgi Gakharia, this decision is of utmost importance in order to enable the Georgian economy to develop rapidly and to restore the starting positions it had at the beginning of the year as soon as the concluding phase of the crisis has been reached.
"In this regard, it is our unequivocal decision that we will do our utmost to maintain large-scale, systemic infrastructural projects under conditions of heath safety protection, as well as to support and enable systemic production to continue operating, and to do our best to support systemic fields of the economy to the greatest extent possible. In this regard, as of today, we have mobilized 2 billion GEL in the budget. This is only the beginning and the first stage, given the data that we possess today," the prime minister stated.
The head of government noted that at some stage, after some time has passed, it is possible that the country might face such challenges that this assistance might need to be increased.
The prime minister emphasized that the 2 billion GEL does not include the 351 million GEL that was directly allocated from the budget for the purposes of healthcare in the fight against COVID-19.
"This is the sum that was reserved in the crisis budget in order for us to fight for the health of our fellow citizens and to do everything in our power to hinder the rapid growth of the scale, as well as of the geographic distribution of the infection. These funds must be utilized in an extremely rational manner," the prime minister noted.
According to Giorgi Gakharia's assessment, how the government is managing to provide every citizen with direct assistance at this stage is of the utmost importance.
To this end, the government has decided to fully fund the utility payments of all of our citizens who consume less than 200 kilowatts of electricity per month and less than 200 m3 of natural gas per month for the duration of three months - March, April, and May.
"This includes both cleaning service and water utility payments. This assistance, which we decided within the framework of government, will directly reach our citizens. We understand that this will not be enough. Of course, we understand that we must identify every one of our citizens who have lost their job and we will then make special arrangements to provide them with direct assistance. Furthermore, I would like to emphasize once again that it is of extreme importance, in our case, to utilize each and every lari that was mobilized in the budget today in a rational manner - 2 billion GEL in terms of the economy and the direct assistance of our citizens, and 351 million GEL in terms of healthcare, for the direct fight against COVID-19," Giorgi Gakharia noted.
According to the prime minister, the crisis budget, within the framework of which the government is operating today, is of the utmost importance and the main thing is that the funds have been directed in order to maintain the most effective balance in terms of the fight against the infection, as well as in terms of economic potential.
"Ultimately, all of us understand that our goal is to overcome the virus in such a manner that our economy can retain the potential for rapid growth, and for us to overcome the virus in such a way that the damage to our economy is minimal, and so that job losses are minimal. I would like to call on every individual government agency to use the resources that are mobilized in the crisis budget for your agencies today in the most rational way possible. Of course, we will further discuss the radical reduction of ongoing expenses, which is also envisaged by the crisis budget and this concerns hundreds of millions. However, we must all understand that the main challenge is the following: It is difficult to make concrete and high-quality predictions. For this reason, we have to operate while practically facing new challenges on a daily basis and our main goal should be to act in a rational and effective manner in terms of management and budget spending, while also acting effectively in terms of the fight against the virus," the prime minister stated.
Press Service of the Government Administration