Telecom Carriers Offer Free Services During OutbreakBy Bruna Brandao | Fri, 04/10/2020 - 10:58
According to a press release issued by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) on 6 April, the main carriers in the country – Telcel, Movistar and AT&T – will offer their prepaid customers various benefits during the outbreak, including a free package of phone calls and SMS. If prepaid customers require this emergency plan benefit, they will only be able to activate it once to receive a minimum of 100 minutes of calls and 150 SMS. They will also be able to continue receiving free calls and texts throughout the contingency period, said IFT. For monthly-payment consumers, some operators will temporarily encourage clients to move to preferential pricing schemes without penalty.
The schemes vary from carrier to carrier. Telcel, for example, provides 100 minutes in calls and 150 text messages for 15 days through its Amigo Contigo package. Customers can activate this benefit by sending an SMS to 5050 with the word “CONTIGO.” It can only be used once and applies to all national calls to any number in the country.
There is a condition for AT&T customers, even though this carrier offers free options. Customers must register for the service via *611, the company’s website or Unefon and must have recharged their phones at least once in the last 90 days. Meanwhile, customers under the AT&T Unidos Prepagos and Unefon Flex Plan will be granted 3,000 minutes for 14 days and those under the AT&T Más category will be offered 100 minutes in calls and 150 free SMS up to 30 days.
Movistar customers are only able to activate their benefit once, as well. All they need to do is call *734256 as long as they have recharged their phones at least once in the past two months, regardless of the amount, and their lines do not have an active discount package or unpaid balance. The operator will enforce the policy for a maximum of up to 30 days or until the contingency is over, whatever comes first.
IFT Commissioner Arturo Robles claimed that users must use the networks rationally. Robles explained the internet and data are scarce resources that we can all use during the contingency. However, everyone needs to be aware of this and prioritize and make fair use of the data.
Globally, an international community might be created to share their views on the use of networks and share best practices to guarantee network availability during the situation. The group is made up of 22 countries and 19 regulatory bodies. Some measures presently being carried out by various worldwide carriers include offering a number of free-roaming services to existing customers, free hotlines, flexible payment schemes, government alerts and free software apps. However, it remains to be seen whether other measures will also be implemented in Mexico, considering there are 121 million mobile lines in the country, according to IFT.