Telecom Operators Bringing O2 Into People’s Lives During Pandemic, Telecom News, ET Telecom


By Ravinder TakkarA group of children in a small village called Parapetta in Kerala has been cut off from the education system due to lack of telecommunications connectivity. Hearing this, the Vi team took action to install a tower, giving 150 students access to online education.

While a single tower can bring such hope and possibilities, the overall impact of telecommunications connectivity across the country remains unquantifiable.

In the northern UP town of Aligarh, a six-decade-old kachori-wala affected by the lockdown decided to go online. Vi Business set up a hotline and IVR to serve customers more efficiently, even as other F&B companies struggled to stay afloat.

Since the first containment 15 months ago, telecom operators have seen our task reduced. Enabling WFH, online schooling, health service delivery, e-commerce, banking and entertainment – telecommunications connectivity has constantly breathed new life into people’s lives and digitized India like never before. before.

Enabling business continuity

I vividly remember our management discussions to deal with the huge traffic growth we started to see – up 30% – in the first week of the lockdown. For telecom operators in India, this represented a whole year of traffic growth! Neither our fixed nor mobile networks were designed for this unprecedented increase. Almost overnight, we increased our capacity to meet demand, which was now starting to come from residential areas.

We have created a three-pronged plan: perform our own BCP while ensuring the safety of our frontline workers; ensure the business continuity of our large business base, many of which lacked a digital recovery path; and of course keeping people connected in their homes.

Our offices, Network Monitoring Centers (SNOCs), retail stores and customer service have moved to employee homes and we have equipped them with devices with a full security firewall.

Network warriors

Our network engineers were the true “heroes” braving all obstacles to ensure 24/7 connectivity. When Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai needed improved connectivity, our teams worked hard to get equipment in place. There are dozens of stories like this – many of our frontline warriors have traveled hundreds of miles to restore critical sites, deliver SIM cards to customer doors, or simply set up a service for an elderly person at home. home.

While this is the need of the moment, we have also maintained that we will not do business by putting our employees at risk. Every employee and associate who has had to leave the house has been fully trained on our full Covid protocol and given proper safety equipment.

I have to thank the Indian government for its invaluable support in speeding up approvals for the frontline worker movement during the lockdown. The industry was extremely motivated when the Honorable Prime Minister appreciated their efforts at an event last year.

Connect the unconnected

We’ve offered support to 100 million users from low-income groups – many of whom are migrants – through free talk time and validity extension. With Unlock 2.0, we are once again enabling the many returning employees to reconnect to our network with free voice and data benefits.

Our transformative CSR projects are having a positive social impact through technology-based solutions, during the pandemic. Vi provided digital educational content to 5 lakh students and 1 lakh teacher, and distributed scholarships of Rs. 1 lakh each for 200 teachers and Rs. 20,000 each to 2,500 students for them to take advantage of the resources for online education.

For women victims of abuse or repression while being locked up, we have designed the MyAmbar app for immediate support and advice. For children in distress, we have revamped Childline 1098 for a faster and more effective response from frontline support organizations.

In the midst of every crisis lies an opportunity
The pandemic has not only accelerated our own digital transformation, but has also catalyzed digital adoption on an unprecedented scale, both at the individual and institutional level in India.

Vi has used digital tools to ensure our customers can recharge and that retailers and distributors complete transactions. Vi has collaborated with players in the fields of learning, well-being and business support by offering a bouquet of digital services to stay one step ahead of our customers. With health being a priority, we have even provided free health insurance to our clients through Aditya Birla Health Insurance.

Catalyze the digital economy

Vi has definitely gone from a “Telco” to a Techco “by helping businesses stay in” Work On “mode and keep the cogs of the economy running. Our suite of mobility, IoT solutions , cloud, security and connectivity for large enterprises, the public sector, MSMEs, start-ups and SOHOs has kept all sectors of the economy operational and productive.

MSMEs continue to be the cornerstone of economic recovery and digital is the most essential enabler of their journey. They have had to adapt to the new standard while ensuring that employees are productive and that customer awareness is made possible through the adoption of digital technologies. Today, players in education, healthcare and retail are embracing our cloud-based communication solutions.

We have also engaged with vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, air and road transport operators and logistics players to deploy IoT solutions for cold chain supply chain visibility, surveillance and logistics management, helping the government in the Covid vaccination campaign.

The pandemic made us stronger

Even so, the constant efforts and courage of our staff made Vi the fastest 4G network during the year of the pandemic.

We performed the largest brand launch in the country with all of our employees working from home. The launch of Vi came with the promise of a brighter future, bringing the best in technology, services and solutions for a digital Bharat.

After braving the second wave, we are now entering the era of 5G. We have built a 5G-enabled network and integrated technologies to meet the needs of smart cities, smart machines and smart citizens. VI’s 5G test beds are now ready. Soon we’ll be testing India-specific use cases and taking our customers on another exciting journey into the digital age.

As a hallmark of champions, the Vi team stands tall by overcoming challenges to emerge stronger and better to serve and connect over a billion Indians – for today and tomorrow.


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