Spain is suffering greatly from the outbreak of the global pandemic, COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We take a look at some of the IT initiatives that Telefónica, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world and headquartered in Spain, is doing to help with battling the virus.
We are seeing how all aspects of society are being affected by the COVID-19 crisis: from the family to the workplace, to health and economic spheres. All this makes it a challenge for society as a whole.
Telefónica is taking the following steps to respond to this emergency.
Throughout its almost century-old history, Telefónica has experienced crisis situations at different times and in different countries. In times of crisis, communication networks and tools are even more crucial than usual. Connectivity becomes not only essential, but truly critical in order to move forward.
Telefónica’s teams have worked closely with health authorities and social agents to respond to all its stakeholders responsibly.
Measures have been decreed in certain areas of Spain to contain the Coronavirus, such as the closure of schools and educational centres or the promotion of working remotely in business. New measures restricting mobility may be adopted in other areas in the future.
A global health emergency makes connectivity absolutely essential. It is key that public administrations are able to coordinate properly and inform citizens in real time; that health centres and hospitals have their communications systems available and can make use of remote diagnostics for patients; that educational centres can keep in permanent contact with families and students and make use of e-learning tools so that small and medium-sized enterprises remain connected to their clients and with their teams; and so that people can work from home.
And on a personal level, keeping in touch with family and friends 24/7 is also crucial to mitigating separation and coping with uncertainty.
Spain has an ultra-broadband communication infrastructure of extremely high capacity and quality and Telefónica aims to ensure that the telecommunications network works at full capacity in a reliable, stable and secure way. It intends to do the same in all the countries it operates, working to provide its networks with sufficient capacity to absorb the most demanding peaks.
Telefonica and working from home
Within the process of Digital Transformation in which we are immersed, Telefónica has the ambition to be a benchmark in new forms of work, flexible models and balancing work and home life by taking advantage of its digital capabilities and tools.
This commitment allows the company to react effectively to a crisis such as this one by promoting working from home in all areas of the company and especially among risk groups.
For all these reasons, while all educational activities remain suspended in certain areas of Spain, the company has decided to facilitate and promote remote working for all Telefónica employees in Spain, placing special emphasis on those colleagues with school-age children and on groups at risk.
This is in addition to the rest of the measures Telefónica has already taken throughout the company regarding trip cancellations, promotion of flexible working days and working remotely, limits to meetings and events and adoption of basic prevention and hygiene measures.
Measures for customers
The company has a great responsibility to its customers. During the current crisis, it will offer the below to customers:
- Increase, at no extra cost, the GB enjoyed by its Fusion and Movistar mobile customers with an additional 30 GB every month, for two months
- In order to facilitate home entertainment, it will increase its entertainment offer, especially children and sports content, free of charge, accessible through the Movistar + Lite application where customers and non-customers can enjoy a month for free
- It will make the Movistar Junior app available to its Fusion customers, free of charge, with special content for the youngest members of the household
- Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in each country, it will adopt similar measures in other regions where it operates
In addition, from Fundación Telefónica it is going to strengthen its educational content through technology and its online learning platforms aimed at teachers, parents and students:
- Scolartic. A social space for learning, innovation and quality in education in which free online courses are offered, as well as talks, lectures and workshops. It is aimed at current and future teachers but can also be used by parents who want to closely follow their children’s learning.
- Conecta Empleo Platform. Telefónica offers free online training courses focused on digital profiles in topics such as: JAVA, web analytics, video game design… up to more than 25,000 open training courses available worldwide.
Capabilities at the service of public administrations
In addition to ensuring reliable connectivity, Telefónica has made its services and capabilities available to public administrations and health institutions to help contribute to efforts to contain the outbreak. Big Data capabilities and management of anonymised and aggregated data from its network, mobility data, cloud data processing centres, as well as telephone or digital assistance capabilities.
The above measures may be complemented in the future with additional ones to support the administrations, society and its teams in this health and social emergency.
It has been said, and rightly so, that a company’s mission cannot be defined by a simple empty phrase; but rather one which it practices daily to generate value for its stakeholders. And it is not by chance that, while accelerating its transformation, Telefónica redefined its purpose: “To make our world more human, connecting people’s lives.”