May 8, 2020 – In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Thais must navigate new ways of educating children, running businesses, maintaining critical societal functions, all while trying to ensure the health and welfare of those affected. dtac vows to support them with connectivity solutions that can maintain social distancing while dulling the outbreak’s economic impact.
“This crisis has highlighted the importance of connectivity, with higher demands for telecom services and considerable pressure on networks all over the world. The stakes are high and growing,” said Sharad Mehrotra, CEO of dtac.
dtac is now stepping up its contribution to Thai society in its struggle to fight the effects of the coronavirus with five key initiatives:
- Free and special charges for data services to ensure business continuity and a connected life for our customers.
- Sustained investments in secure and reliable networks, offering added coverage and capacity where needed.
- Readiness to leverage our mobility data analytics for health authorities to predict and prevent the spread of the virus.
- In-kind donations and donation channels for critical missions to fight back against COVID-19 outbreak.
- A Young Safe Internet Leader’s Cyber-Camp to mitigate Thai youths’ exposure to risky online interactions.
Free and special charges on data services to ensure business continuity and connected life
dtac has made data completely free on productivity apps such as Zoom, LINE and Microsoft Office. We’ve also included free COVID-19 insurance and free calls to essential information hotlines. For every top-up, dtac will double and triple data credits to pre-paid customers to extend their connectivity. Offers to students are even more generous. And in collaboration with universities and academic institutes nationwide, dtac delivers high-speed internet solutions to enable over 10 million educational staff, teachers and students to remain connected to one another and to access online learning platforms smoothly and efficiently.
In addition, we advise our large corporate and SME customers to use dtac Business Survival solutions to significantly save on costs and continue their business operations. Consulting with over 700 people across nearly 50 businesses on their top needs during the COVID-19 crisis, what emerged is that smaller businesses are particularly unprepared for stable, effective work from home solutions. dtac is responding with new, all-inclusive and worry-free packages to address these concerns. This empowers employees working without stable Wi-Fi or internet connections to be more effective via remote work tools such as video conferencing.
Sustained investments in secure and reliable networks, with added network coverage and capacity
Every day, dtac has over 1,000 network engineers working in the field with our technology partners to triple our data capacity and ensure network service continuity in 24×7 nationwide. dtac is continuously investing in secure and reliable networks. This is now more important than ever as dtac sees increasing load in our networks across regions due to the crisis.
dtac will maintain our sustained network investments despite the economic uncertainty created by COVID-19. The investments ensure dtac’s ability to secure reliable and stable networks, maintain productivity and protect access to vital services.
dtac provides connectivity support related to mission critical services. This includes offering and providing adequate coverage and capacity at locations such as hospitals, relief centers, police stations, key government offices, and connectivity for medical practitioners, enforcement personnel, and other parties in the frontlines of stemming the COVID-19 crisis.
Readiness to leverage our mobility data analytics for health authorities to predict and prevent the spread of the virus
dtac is prepared to leveraged our strength in mobility data analytics to support the government’s mission in fighting back against the COVID-19 outbreak. dtac, with the expert support of the Telenor Group, has approached relevant government agencies to establish mobility data exchange arrangements.
Using machine learning, it is possible to build predictive models of the current and future trajectory of the epidemic using fully-anonymized data. Telenor Group has been working with health authorities in several markets, including the Nordics, and can share this know-how with dtac. To apply its expertise to the COVID-19 outbreak, Telenor is currently in conversations with international organisations such as the EU commission, the international organisation for mobile network operators, GSMA, and World Economic Forum.
In-kind donations and donation channels for critical missions to fight back against COVID-19 outbreak.
Under the “dtac Joins Forces to Fight COVID-19” (dtac Ruam Rang Jai Fight COVID-19) initiative, dtac is providing free hotlines from 063-474-0061 to 0065, without any call charges to patients or to the Psychiatric Association of Thailand. The hotlines are particularly critical right now as they reduce the risk of infection that comes with hospital visits and provide patients much-needed support to deal with COVID-19-related stress. We also made calls to 1669 (National Institute for Emergency Medicine) and 1422 (Department of Disease Control) completely free.
Mitigate Thai youths’ exposure to risky online interactions through our Young Safe Internet Leader’s Cyber-Camp.
During this extended school break with public facilities shut down, children are trapped at home and at risk of “cabin fever,” a mental stress condition with symptoms of irritability, boredom, difficulty concentrating or even hopelessness and behavioural problems. dtac has found teenagers aged 12-17 tend to spend at least 10-12 hours a day on their screens, even more than the national average. Eighty six percent of surveyed children revealed that they have experienced harassment, exposure to inappropriate content and sexual solicitation from strangers online. Ninety percent believe that they have consumed mis- and disinformation (“fake news”), including commercial scams on social media platforms shared by their friends and popular influencers.
dtac in partnership with DEPA and the Thai Media Fund has established Thailand’s first Young Safe Internet Leader’s Cyber-Camp on April 27-30th to transform our youth from online victims to be young leaders. Participants will strengthen their digital resilience, digital upskill themselves and develop a project to have a positive impact on their community. The program is under supervision from and designed by experts in developmental and behavioural pediatrics, ensuring that participants will gain a range of digital skills from digital literacy to critical thinking.
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