Orange Belgium, as a critical service provider, even more in times of confinement, takes its social responsibility to a higher level with meaningful initiatives to fight the spread the corona virus and help care takers. From a broad awareness campaign to providing masks for those on the front line and free cybersecurity tools for hospitals.
Supporting the confinement measures
Orange Belgium launches this week a broad awareness campaign on the importance of respecting the authorities’ confinement and social distancing measures, in order to slow the spread of the corona virus. The pandemic is largely disrupting the daily life of Belgian citizens and the overall economy and, as a responsible operator, Orange Belgium intends to do its’ part in fighting it.
The company therefore launched its Stay Home campaign to support the confinement measures. Since 23rd March, Orange Belgium already changed its network name on customers’ phones from “Orange B” to “Stay Home Orange B”. The operator also put in place an online platform rich in content, tips and tricks to help customers go through these troubled times, and offers entertainment: a Fortnite tournament, a series of YouTube Myth busting videos, live connected concerts, … And it offered additional data to its B2C and B2B postpaid customers until April 26th. As from the 2nd of April, Orange Belgium will complement this with a media campaign.
Providing help for the caretakers
Orange Belgium goes further in its contribution to the safety of Belgian society, with concrete support to the hospitals taking into account some of their most important needs in the current context:
- Orange Belgium offered its whole stock of 1.500 FFP2 and 500 chirurgical protective masks to the Universitair Ziekenhuis hospital in Brussels on 18th March and, went further on 27th March by offering as many as 30.000 FFP1 protective masks, 300 protective gears and 100 protective glasses to the CHC MontLégia in Liège, with the support of Huawei.
- Many hospitals have been targeted by malicious cyberattacks in the past two weeks, mostly through phishing campaigns and ransomware. Orange Belgium therefore decided to offer, as of 2nd April, two months of usage of its Mobile Threat Protection solution, free of charge, to Belgian hospitals, without any further obligations. The solution helps manage and secure mobile terminals (smartphones, tablets, …) used by customers to better protect their global internal infrastructure and data.
Finally Orange Belgium is also committed to support some transversal initiatives:
- The company is an active part of the Data Alliance against Coronavirus, a partnership with multiple telecom providers and Big Data specialists, led by the government, that focuses on using anonymised data to better track the spread of the coronavirus and guide the public authorities in their strategic decisions.
- More recently, Orange Belgium decided along with other telecom providers, to provide financial and technical support to the SafeLink initiative, a platform that allows doctors to telemonitor their suspected Covid 19 patients by the means of regular SMS to track their heart rate, body temperature, … to identify problematic cases, and assess the course of actions to be taken, while avoiding the risk of being themselves contaminated.
- The company is providing laptops and desktop computers to the Digital for Youth initiative, a project that gathers IT material to help deprived youngsters following courses from home in times of confinement. The project is led by the organization Close The Gap, a long-term partner of Orange Belgium, which usually collects pre-owned computers donated by European companies to educational, medical and social projects in developing and emerging countries.
A permanent monitoring of the network, and optimization where needed
The huge increase in teleworking and overall internet usage constitutes a challenge for the network infrastructure and triggered some saturation issues on the voice mobile traffic at the very begin of the confinement period, which were swiftly resolved. Orange technical teams are doing significant capacity upgrades and monitor the traffic closely to react immediately if necessary by optimizing the network capacity, and doing interventions on the field if needed.
Michaël Trabbia, CEO of Orange Belgium, adds: “As a responsible telecom operator, we think it is of utmost importance for us to contribute with our means and expertise in fighting the COVID 19 epidemic. Our first responsibility is to guarantee the security of our teams together with the connectivity continuity in this critical time. We are committed to go further with meaningful contribution to public authorities and customers to address this collective challenge, be it by providing equipment, data analytics relevant service, or specific projects. ”