ETNO supports EU-Ukraine Operators’ Statement on connectivity for Ukrainian refugees
ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, is proud to support today’s “Joint Statement by EU and Ukrainian Operators on connectivity in support of refugees from Ukraine”.
Connectivity is the cornerstone of our societies and it becomes a lifeline during times of crisis. Already in February, as soon as the war against Ukraine started, European telecom operators immediately stepped in with extensive voluntary measures. Such measures included providing free or heavily discounted connectivity for Ukrainian people resident in the EU and for incoming refugees. Telecom operators also set up free wi-fi hotspots, local SIM cards and a series of humanitarian actions.
Among others, the following ETNO members signed the Joint Statement: Deutsche Telekom Group, Proximus Group, Telenor Group, Telia Company, TIM Group, Telefónica Group, Orange Group, KPN, BICS.
Telefónica and its Foundation:
- Together with the Red Cross and Aktion Deutschland Hilft, the company has organised a campaign to collect donations to help displaced people, to which Fundación Telefónica will also make a financial contribution.
- Movistar has provided its customers, companies and individuals with free international calls and SMS between Spain-Ukraine and Germany-Ukraine, facilitating communication between family, friends and companies at such a delicate time. In addition, the roaming service is free of charge for customers in Ukraine. Both initiatives will be available for an indeterminate period of time.
- Telefónica and Fundación Telefónica have made available to the Spanish and International Red Cross their capacity for mobilisation and dissemination through its Movistar shops, employees and social networks.
- Other needs that have been identified is to raise awareness of the best way to channel aid at any given time. To address this issue, an informative talk has been organised by experts in the field and the social organisation ACCEM, to bring the reality of what is happening in Ukraine closer to the public.
- A solidarity concert, “The Music of Recycling for Ukraine”, was held on the 27th of March at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Madrid in collaboration with ECOEMBES. Donations collected went to Aldeas Infantiles to help Ukrainian children and families arriving in Spain.
- Different collection points were set up in Madrid, Alicante and Valencia to gather basic necessities, which were shipped in a convoy coordinated with the Generalitat Valenciana and the governments of Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia. Telefónica volunteers have collaborated in the collection of non-perishable goods, hygiene products and first aid medical material. The initiative has raised more than one tonne of products, which is being transported by Zeleris, the Telefónica Group’s logistics company. In addition to this, other initiatives undertaken by the company’s employees have been channelled through social organisations working in the field.
- In order to provide support and assistance to the Ukrainian people who are arriving in Spain, Fundación Telefónica is coordinating different actions with social organisations to promote their social inclusion, learning and leisure. Movistar Plus+ is collaborating with the Red Cross by providing free access for children to enjoy educational and entertainment content.
- Support will be given at arrival, first reception and referral centres that are officially being set up.
Telefónica O2 Germany:
- Offers its customers free calls to Ukraine, both from the fixed and mobile network.
- Offers free roaming with Ukraine.
- Distribution of a total of 10,000 prepaid SIM cards and 2,000 WLAN routers free of charge to Ukrainian refugees arriving in Germany.
- Support in fulfilling the legal requirements for obtaining a SIM card through video identification procedures.
- Match the amount raised in the fundraising campaign in which the company’s employees participate, sponsored by the Telefónica Foundation and Aktion Deutschland Hilft.
- Support for employees who wish to get personally involved in helping those affected in Ukraine or refugees arriving in Germany.
Virgin Media O2
- Free data, calls and texts between Ukraine and the UK. These measures apply to O2 Pay Monthly, O2 Pay as you Go, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Media O2 Business and Virgin Media home phone customers, as well as giffgaff customers. Customers do not need to do anything.
- Removed mobile data charges for Ukrainian remote education resources, providing free unlimited access to All Ukrainian Online School (Про проєкт | ВШО) created by the Ukrainian Education Ministry. Mobile customers on O2, Virgin Mobile and those on giffgaff can visit the website without using any of their allocated monthly data allowance.
Charitable donations and support of more than £800,000:
- Donations to the Disasters and Emergencies Committee (DEC) appeal, which brings together 15 of the UK’s leading aid charities – experts in humanitarian aid, specialising in different areas of disaster response.
- These measures apply to O2 Pay Monthly, O2 Pay as you Go, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Media O2 Business and Virgin Media home phone customers, as well as giffgaff customers. Customers do not need to do anything.
- Partnership with Jangala, a UK-based charity that enables internet access for people in need of urgent humanitarian aid, providing them with two years of funding. This will initially be used to establish an “Emergency Deployment” connectivity programme along the Polish border through the distribution of “Big Boxes” (lightweight briefcase-sized devices that transform any form of internet connectivity into Wi-Fi that can managed and scale for thousands of users).
- As part of our work with the National Databank, powered by the Good Things Foundation, we have committed to providing free mobile data to Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK, alongside those from other conflict zones, to enable them to get online.
- Through our Community Calling programme with Hubbub, Virgin Media O2 will gift a total of 6,250 devices and free data to charity Migrant Help, to support asylum seekers and refugees.
Helping our people to make a difference:
- Our “Take Five” employee volunteering programme entitles our people to take up to five days of paid leave to volunteer.
- In partnership with Neighbourly we are signposting our employees to relevant charities and community organizations who are leading the humanitarian relief effort in the UK.