28 February, 2022

European telecom companies take action to support Ukrainian people

Brussels, 28 February 2022 – Access to communications is most crucial during times of crisis. As the Ukrainian people endure their harshest proof, European telecommunication companies are rolling out measures to ease communications and support people in distress.

Based on an internal survey of key ETNO members, European telecom operators have taken a range of actions to help Ukrainians and those supporting them. Depending on the country, these are the types of measures we were able to map so far:

  • Free international calls to Ukraine;
  • No roaming charges with Ukraine;
  • Distribution of SIM cards to refugees arriving in neighbouring countries;
  • Free WiFi in refugee camps;
  • Activation of the “SMS donation” function to the benefit of organizations supporting refugees;
  • Including Ukrainian channels in IPTV packages for no added fee.

It is important to note how measures vary from company to company, and from country to country, depending on the markets they are active in. In terms of complexity of implementation, roaming deals remain complex, as they require the other party (receiving operator) to enter into a negotiation.

In our survey, a non-exhaustive list of European operators that took measures as of today* include (but is not limited to): Deutsche Telekom Group; Orange Group; Telefónica/O2; BT; Telia Company; A1 Telekom Austria Group; Telenor Group; Proximus Group; KPN; Vodafone Group; Vivacom; TIM Telecom Italia; Altice Portugal; Swisscom; GO Malta;  CYTA; Orange Romania; BH Telecom; ALBtelecom; DNA; TelekomSlovenije. 

A list of examples is available at this link

*Last edit: 18 March 

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