What Telcos Are Doing to Help People Facing Cyclone Fani in India
On Friday, Cyclone Fani made landfall, forcing millions of people in states like Odisha to be evacuated. The natural event brings with itself gushing winds at speed of 180km/hr and rains that make it hard to move around.
This has a direct impact on how people communicate during emergencies but telcos like Airtel and Vodafone claim they are ready for the event, and are dishing out special benefits for its users in the affected regions. Here’s a look at what these telcos are doing to brace themselves for cyclone Fani.
The Aditya Birla Group-owned telecom operator has created a helpline number for people to reach out in case of an emergency. For this, Vodafone users in the affected region can dial 1938 and get connected to the rescue team with this helpline number.
In addition to this, free SMS have been activated for Vodafone and Idea customers in the region. And that’s not all, for users running out of talk time balance on their prepaid numbers, Vodafone is loaning Rs 5 and Rs 10 balance for them to inform their closed ones.
The telco has also made sure additional telecom gear have been arranged at key locations, and enough fuel has been sourced to make sure the mobile towers don’t power off.
Airtel has officially confirmed that it is offering free SMS in three affected states for five days.
It has also opened up emergency Intra Circle Roaming with other operators, allowing people to make calls to other regions in the country without running out of talk time balance.
Interestingly, most telcos nowadays are offering free voice calls to mobile users, with low roaming charges in place. Not sure if the roaming benefit really makes a difference to the people out there.