Telecom company VodafoneZiggo makes 12,000 prepaid SIM cards available to Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands, offering 6 GB of data and a 20 euros call credit. People can decide themselves whether they use the SIM card credit to call in the Netherlands, within Europa or worldwide. The distribution of the SIM cards will be coordinated by the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the Dutch Council for Refugees. VodafoneZiggo staff assisting with refugee initiatives will also distribute some of the cards. The telecom company has already made the first SIM cards available this week.
Jeroen Hoencamp, CEO of VodafoneZiggo: “The war causes indescribable suffering among the population of the Ukraine. For those who are still there and for those who have already left the country. Families are fleeing and have great difficulty staying in touch with each other. We, at VodafoneZiggo, want to help where we can. We are doing this in a way we’re good at: ensuring that people can reach one another, as far as that is under our control. This is why we’re also helping now with free SIM cards for Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands.”
Emergency networks at the Ukrainian border
In recent weeks, an international team of Vodafone volunteers set up emergency networks on the border of Hungary/Ukraine and Romania/Ukraine. Dutch employees of VodafoneZiggo had set off as well on behalf of Vodafone Foundation to provide Ukrainian refugees with free Wi-Fi. They installed connections in masts and emergency buildings in the border area, but also in a large train station in Budapest. The focus here was on the ‘stopovers’ of the refugees where they register and transfer to different transport. They were able to charge their phones there, use free Wi-Fi and get in touch with family and friends in the war zone.
Calling and texting for free
VodafoneZiggo had already announced previously that it was offering all customers of Vodafone, HollandsNieuwe and Ziggo free (mobile) calls and text messages from the Netherlands to the Ukraine and vice versa up to and including 30 April. The telecom company also offers free data to customers who are still in the Ukraine. This applies to both consumers and business customers.