Telecom operators introduce new services to promote work from home

ISLAMABAD: All four telecom operators in the country have come forward with services facilitating work-from-home in the current circumstances owing to coronavirus pandemic.

Market leader Jazz has allowed free calls to selected emergency numbers as per the provided list of doctors, hospitals, and labs by the government. Their bundles for work from home include 10GB internet and unlimited calls to other Jazz numbers for Rs88 per week. Alternatively, 30GB are also available with 10,000 minutes for Jazz to Jazz calls for Rs 299 per week.

Telenor followed suit and allowed free monthly Whatsapp usage up to 2GB, with an additional internet bundle of 4GB from 6am to 6pm for Rs50. Sharing of balance from one number to another has also been made free as well as free transfer of funds from Easypaisa mobile wallets to other mobile bank accounts. Telenor also has health and prevention advisory service available at 7272 and PMDC certified doctors available for consultation on 727233 for Rs8.

Zong users can also call local government hospitals, doctors and coronavirus helpline free of cost by calling on 4343. WHO and NDMA websites are allowed free access even without the need for having mobile balance. For monthly usage 4GB of Whatsapp is provided for Rs 50, and grace period is extended for selected recharge bands to remain connected. Balance transfer is also made free for Zong customers.

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The national telecom operator’s mobile brand Ufone has come up with even more elaborate services for their customers. They include 10 minutes of on-net calls free of charge in lock down areas as long as the mobile account has minimum Rs3. Ufone to Ufone or to PTCL calls are free in any area until midnight as long as the lockdown persists in those areas. For now, this service has begun in Sindh but is being considered to be expanded to other areas of the country.

For their SuperCard plus offers, the on-net calls have been made unlimited. Previously, location based pricing of the internet is now made uniform with 8GB data plus 5GB extra for Whatsapp at Rs499 a month. Calls to PRCS helpline are made free – at the number 1030. Funds transference from UPaisa wallets to other wallets have been made free of charge. Online recharge is made cheaper and with a cashback offer to promote staying at home. Blocking of postpaid numbers due to late or low recharge is delayed and blocked postpaid numbers are being unblocked with lower payments of credit limit. Ufone also said that Emergency short codes are being created that may be used free of charge by the customers to reach emergency services.

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Syeda Masooma
Writer is business reporter at Pakistan Today

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