By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS – From Deutsche Telekom to AT&T to Vodafone, more than a dozen telecoms providers on both sides of the Atlantic are either providing free international calls to Ukraine or are scrapping roaming charges with the country.
European telecoms lobbying group ETNO said an internal survey showed at least 13 of its members have taken measures to help Ukrainians after Russia’s invasion of the country, while more are expected to do the same in the coming days.
They are Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, Telia Company, A1 Telekom Austria Group, Telenor, Proximus, KPN, Vodafone, Vivacom, TIM Telecom Italia, Altice Portugal and Swisscom.
Some of the offers include giving SIM cards to refugees in neighbouring countries, free Wi-Fi in refugee camps, activating the ‘SMS donation’ function to help organisations aiding refugees and including Ukrainian channels in IPTV packages for free, ETNO said.
U.S. telecoms group AT&T last week said its U.S. consumer and business customers will get unlimited long-distance calling to Ukraine until March 7.
Verizon said it was waiving charges for calls from residential landline and consumer or business wireless phones to and from Ukraine until March 10. It also scrapped voice and text roaming charges for customers in Ukraine.