Vodafone outlines mobile support package amid coronavirus crisis

(Image credit: Vodafone UK)

Vodafone has pledged to support citizens, governments and businesses across Europe during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The operator’s ‘five-point plan’ includes measures that will strengthen mobile networks, facilitate new working patterns and help authorities contain the spread of Covid-19.

Vodafone says communications will be essential for work, socialisation and entertainment over the next few weeks and months. It has already witnessed a 50 per cent increase in data demand and says it will expand capacity where required to ensure people can stay connected.

Vodafone Covid-19 plan

In all markets, Vodafone will provide free access to health and education resources, while ensuring medical facilities have access to unlimited, fast connectivity.

Governments will be able to send text alerts to the general public and where technically possible, will be able to send targeted notifications to keep the general public informed. Vodafone will also, where legal, provide aggregated and anonymised location data to help authorities understand people’s movements and prevent the spread of coronavirus. This is already being done in Lombardy in Italy.

Finally, Vodafone will help business customers support their employees as they work at home – many for the first time – and will pay small businesses in its supply chain within 15 days in order to help cashflow situations.

The plan will remain in place until 1 September but Vodafone has said this can be extended in individual markets if required.

“Vodafone can play a critical role in supporting society during this unprecedented time and that is why we are announcing our five-point plan,” said Nick Read, Vodafone Group CEO. “A plan that ensures better outcomes for all citizens by working more closely with governments.

“Through our networks, and our dedicated team, we will strive to ensure that people stay connected to their family and friends, businesses can continue to run using remote working, our health services get all the support we can deliver and students are able to continue their education virtually.

“Whilst still putting the health and safety of our teams first, using our remote working technology, our teams are working round the clock to ensure that we deliver on this plan. I want to personally thank them all for providing this critical service for our customers.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.