In light of the present COVID-19 pandemic, telecom operators have been undertaking many initiatives to facilitate their subscribers across Pakistan and to provide them with awareness about Coronavirus & uninterrupted services.
In this context, on Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)’s directions, SMS on precautionary measures against COVID-19 in national & regional languages are being sent to all mobile subscribers on a regular basis. Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) have replaced their standard ring back tone (heard by caller when a call is being made) with messages about COVID-19 preventive measures.
New packages/offers (by giving additional data and on-net voice minutes) at low prices have been launched by all CMOs to facilitate people to stay and work from home (details are available at operators and PTA’s websites).
Other initiatives include the abolishment of balance validity period by Jazz and extension in balance validity period by Zong, free Whatsapp and balance share promotions by Telenor.
Zong has made COVID related webpages of WHO and NDMA as zero-rated i.e. free access to these websites.
Jazz has also created a dedicated webpage/portal wherein awareness about coronavirus is being disseminated to the general public.
Furthermore, all CMOs are offering free calls to emergency numbers (1166). Jazz has launched the “Assistance for Free” service wherein free calls can be made to selected government offices/doctors/laboratories. Zong is also offering free calls to 4343 which offers access to local government hospitals and doctors. Ufone has made Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) helpline 1030 free of cost for its subscribers across Pakistan.
CMOs and PTCL are also conducting CSR activities by providing relief packages containing rations, medicines and protective gear to virus hit families in different regions of Sindh. PTCL is offering free of cost internet to double play voice and TV customers till 30th April 2020 and has also extended deadline in billing dates for wireline customers.