Coronavirus Crisis: Telecom Companies Press Ahead With Remarkable Social Responsibility Efforts Amman, Jordan, 24 March 2020: Since the government announced a series of preventive measures to fight the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the three telecom companies operating in Jordan, namely Zain, Umniah and Orange, have been quick to support government efforts by reaffirming their social role and national responsibility towards the country and its people. Considering the importance of telecommunications as one of the most vital economic sectors, the three companies have deployed specialized technical teams and activated a set of pre-defined contingency plans to ensure the continuity of their GSM and internet services and uninterrupted work of their networks across Jordanian governorates. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has supported these efforts by granting telecommunications companies additional frequencies to increase their network capacities during the crisis. In an unprecedented step, the three companies have enabled free browsing, through their respective networks, of the Ministry of Education’s distance learning platform “Darsak”, so that all Jordanians can access this platform without any deductions on their credit balances or internet packages on their mobile phones or home internet subscriptions. Since its launch, the platform, which was launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, has provided around two million students with free access to classes, curricula and educational content provided by the Ministry of Education. Furthermore, the three companies have decided to keep all their subscribers’ lines active, regardless of their due bills. The companies have united to change the names of their networks on subscribers’ devices in order to emphasize the importance of staying at home, and remind subscribers of this vital advice at all times. The companies are also committed to provide regular health and safety awareness messages to their subscribers. The above-mentioned collective efforts were accompanied by individual measures taken by each company separately. For example, Zain provided 24 medical beds, at a value of $50,000, to the King Abdullah University Hospital in Irbid governorate. Zain also re-located its free mobile clinic to the Dead Sea area where citizens are placed under quarantine, to put it at the disposal of the Royal Medical Services to use it as deemed necessary. Umniah, on the other hand, donated a number of artificial respirators to support the efforts of the Ministry of Health, at a value of $50,000. The company also offered its customers the opportunity to make donations through its loyalty program, umnicoin. Finally, Orange announced a donation of $100,000 to the Ministry of Health, $50,000 of which was donated directly by the company, and another $50,000 were made through its mobile wallet, Orange Money, by its employees and customers. Orange has also provided an emergency service for people with disabilities. Under the current circumstances, people in Jordan have become more dependent on telecommunications services in general, and internet services in particular, especially since the majority of them are currently working from home, while school and university students are browsing lessons, lectures and other educational content and materials online, which led to high loads on the networks albeit operating at their maximum capacity. These initiatives thus come to communicate feelings of solidarity and serve as a powerful example of effective partnership between the public and private sectors to serve the country and its citizens during these difficult times. -End-
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