UAE telecom operator Etisalat said on Saturday that it had provided free mobile data – in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) – to over 12,000 students whose families do not have Internet at home.
Etisalat also added that over 10 million mobile subscribers in the country could access its networks to enjoy free browsing to over 800 websites related to education, health and safety.
On March 19, the TRA announced that it had coordinated with service providers in the country to grant free internet data via mobile phones to families which have no home internet services.
As part of the country’s precautionary measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the country’s ministry of education had initiated a remote learning programme across all public and private schools and universities in the country.
On March 30, it announced that it had decided to extend the e-learning programme until the end of the academic year in June.
In line with an announcement by the TRA that it had made available on an exceptional basis and until further notice a set of apps to aid in distance education, Etisalat too confirmed that it has provided access to nine apps and platforms, allowing visual and audio communications: Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Blackboard, Zoom, Skype for Business, Cisco Webex, Avaya Spaces, BlueJeans and Slack on Its fixed and mobile network.
“These initiatives stem from Etisalat’s corporate social responsibility strategy to utilise its resources and capabilities, empower the educational sector with state-of-the-art technology, and ensure seamless and effective connectivity across all learning platforms. Keeping in line with its strategy ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’, Etisalat is committed to support distance learning initiatives in the UAE following the ministry’s decision to extend distance learning until the end of the current academic year. Etisalat will continue to offer all the connectivity tools and services students and teachers need, including the fastest fixed broadband and mobile network in the region, to ensure seamless continuity of the country’s education curriculum,” Etisalat said in a statement.
In a move to support e-learning initiatives, the other major UAE telecom operator du also said that it would enable all postpaid and prepaid customers to access their school websites and homework throughout the duration of the closed period without paying additional data charges.
TRA has also instructed telecommunications companies in the country to not to disconnect mobile services of customers with expired IDs. Customers will not be required to visit any service centre to provide those documents, as part of the Stay Home directives of the authorities in the UAE.