Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa) consists of two main islands and a collection of smaller islands. The two main islands are Upolu and Savai’i. Upolu is the most populated of Samoa’s two main islands and the location of the country's capital, Apia. The population of Samoa is 197,773 (CIA World Factbook). Between the islands of Upolu and Savai’i are the smaller islands of Apolima and Manono. The combined population of Apolima and Manonon is approximately 1200 people.
In addition to the seasonal risk of cyclone, the southern edge of Samoa faces the Tonga Trench leading to the risk of tsunami and earthquake. On 29 September 2009, Samoa was hit by a tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake, that caused significant loss of life and damage to the country. Other countries that were affected by the 2009 tsunami were Tonga and American Samoa. Since then the Government of Samoa has been developing their disaster response and early warning capacity to mitigate the risks to the population from natural disaster.
Contact details and social media channels for the Samoa Disaster Management Office (DMO):
The ETC is focussed on preparedness activities in Samoa and nearby Pacific Island countries under its Pacific Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project, lead by WFP.
Samoa has a Motorola MotoTRBO VHF digital mobile radio (DMR) system deployed for emergency communications. The VHF radio network is known as the Emergency Radio Network (ERN). The ERN has 12 DMR repeater sites, connected via microwave links providing more than 90% coverage across Upolu, Savai’i and the body of water between the two main islands. Multiple emergency service agencies (Fire, Police, DMO, Red Cross) utilise the ERN over a combination of dedicated and shared channels.
The Samoa Disaster Management Office (DMO) maintain a set of functional VHF handheld radios that can be distributed during an emergency. There are also VHF base station radios installed in the DMO’s NEOC, at the Bureau of Meteorology, and on the island of Savai’i.
Samoa has one AM band radio station (Radio2AP) that is operated by the Government through the Ministry of Communications and IT (MCIT). There are multiple FM band radio stations operating in Samoa.
Samoa has a tsunami early warning Emergency Siren Network (ESN) which is made up of 23 sirens along the southern coast of Upolu Island. The sirens are activated using the Emergency Radio Network (ERN) and the ESN is controlled from the national emergency operations centre (NEOC) in Faleata.
International dial code: +685
There are two mobile operators in Samoa – Digicel and BlueSky. Both offer 2G and 3G, and plans exist to deploy 4G services. Samoa has one of the highest rates of mobile phone coverage in the Pacific region.
BlueSky is the only fixed line operator in Samoa, providing landline telephony services. BlueSky was formerly known as SamoaTel before its privatisation in 2011. 25% of Bluesky Samoas shares are owned by the Unit Trust of Samoa (UTOS), while the other 75% are owned by BlueSky Communications and other investors from Samoa and American Samoa. BlueSky Communications is owned by eLandia Group.
Country code: .ws
Computer Systems Limited (CSL) is a leading internet service provider (ISP) Samoa providing broadband internet using WiMAX technology. BlueSky Samoa offers ADSL broadband services.
BlueSky and Digicel offer mobile broadband services. BlueSky's mobile broadband service is called Speednet.
NetVo Samoa launched a 4G LTE network in July 2016 to provide high-speed wireless internet, partnering with US-based company On Call Communications. NetVo owns and operates its own satellite network and gateway to provide internet access.
Lesamoa.net is a locally run ISP offering wireless internet in Samoa.
The Tui-Samoa Cable Project (public-private partnership) is currently underway to deploy a submarine cable linking Apia to Suva, Fiji, where it will connect to the SCCN (Southern Cross Cable Network). The SCCN links to Hawaii in the north and to Sydney in the south. The Tui-Samoa Cable will also have a spur connecting the Samoan island of Savai'i to the cable system. The Tui-Samoa Cable project is scheduled to launch in late 2017.
Another project also exists to install the Moana Cable connecting New Zealand and Hawaii with plans to cover Samoa and American Samoa by 2018.
The Electric Power Corporation (EPC) is Samoa's main electricity provider, providing power to 98% of the population of Samoa. EPC (www.epc.ws) was established as a Corporation in 1972, and the company generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity.
EPC generates electricity from diesel fuel and renewable energy sources including hydro and solar. The location of EPC's power plants are mentioned here.
Electrical power transmission in Samoa is 230V, 50 Hz, Type I plug and socket. The Type I plug has two flat pins in a V-shape as well as a grounding pin. A version of the plug, which only has the two flat pins, exists as well.
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