Telcos offer free packages to support fight against coronavirus

The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has announced several mobile industry interventions by its members to aid Ghana’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

These are free access to critical websites and government portals that provide COVID-19 awareness and safety protocols to enable citizens access information for free.

There is also an on-going collaboration with the National Information Technology Authority (NITA) to zero-rate the government of Ghana’s Smart Workplace Portal to enable government workers to work from home.

For consumers, the Chamber announced free access to over 100 educational online sites, e-learning platforms and libraries (public, private, foreign).

This industry move supports a total of over 240,000 customers consuming over 3,000 GB (3TB) per day for educational purposes.

Also, there is free calls to the National COVID-19 response number (112) as well as other emergency service numbers.

In consultation with the Ghana Health Service, members of the Chamber are leveraging their infrastructure to broadcast emergency communications to educate over 30 million customers on COVID-19 through daily safety tips using ring back tones, sms, social sedia, amongst others.

Consumers are also not being charged for mobile money transactions below GHS100 to promote digital forms of payment and augment social distancing rules, which reduce the rate of new infections.

Regarding network resilience, there is optimisation of members’ networks and a boost in their capacity to support the surge in voice and data usage due to mass behaviour shift – working from home, e-learning, increased streaming, online gaming, virtual meetings and watching movies and TV online.

There is also the deployment of additional infrastructure in the ensuing weeks to enhance charging systems and intelligent networks to cater for the increase in volumes for voice and data.

Concerning its telco staff, the Chamber said health, safety and compliance processes have been put in place, as staff and partners have been educated on “what to know about COVID-19 ” as well as protocols being implemented to protect them.