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Press Releases

Lisbon, March 20, 2020


Following the promulgation of the state of emergency, where all citizens must stay at home, Telco’s have a special responsibility in assuring that communication services are working well for customers, critical entities and infrastructures.

MEO, NOS and Vodafone came together and presented the Portuguese Government a joint plan to minimize the impact of the pandemic in Portugal, comprising six priorities:

1.    Keep the quality of the network

2.    Ensure the network capacity for Governmental critical roles  

3.    Promote the contention of the virus spread

4.    Inform about antifraud procedures

5.    Contribute to the encouragement of remote work

6.    Support the community

These measures will be in place for unlimited time and will be revised and/or adjusted according to the evolution of the situation.

1.    Keep the quality of the network

The focus of the operators is to secure the integrity and continuity of the network and services. This condition is fundamental so that Portuguese people can work, learn, keep social contact and entertain themselves from home, during an uncertain period.

Operators are increasing their network capacity, redirecting it according to customer´s locations - more in their homes and less in office and business centres.

The networks are ready to support rush hours and bigger amount of traffic, mostly residential; however, customers should make a responsible use of the internet according to the best practices, in order to prevent potential network jam.

The operators are developing several measures to guarantee that their teams are available, remotely if possible and physically when strictly necessary, to assure the continuity of the operations and technical assistance.

2.    Ensure the network capacity for Governmental critical roles 

The operators will guarantee that the State’s critical roles have total connectivity, reinforcing network capacity when and where it is necessary. Operators will keep a close dialogue with the government in order to answer to any demand as soon as possible.

3.    Promote the contention of the virus spread

The operators have been adopting measures that aim to contain the spread of the virus, with special focus on the promotion of telework, but also in activities related to the consumers. According to the legal regulations of the Declaration of the State of Emergency, the operators strongly recommend the adoption of the following measures while there is a risk of contagion:

  • Suspension of all face-to-face commercial activity;
  • Restrictions on the retail schedules (only if there is a legal imposition)
  • Promotion of a bigger rationalization of the retail network applied to stores obliged to be open, taking in consideration the level of demand, resources and geographical coverage;
  • Rotation of the service on commercial locations, giving the circumstances;
  • Communication to workers and consumers, always following the General Direction of Health, of measures concerning prevention and good practices;
  • Awareness about the importance of using customer channels appropriately (e.g favour digital channels instead of the face-to-face).

4.    Inform about antifraud procedures

Giving the cases of people wrongly calling themselves representatives of the three operators, MEO, NOS and Vodafone clarify its procedures warning that:

  • There are no face-to-face visits without a previous request from the customer;
  • Visits will only happen due to technical failures, and are always requested by customers;
  • Visits only occur with a previous scheduling with the costumer, via telephone;
  • All the technicians and operational teams are equipped with an identification card that must be visible before entering the costumer´s house.

5.    Contribute to the encouragement to teleworking on the enterprises

In order to promote telework, the three operators have adopted the following practices and are recommending it to other public and private institutions:

  • Adoption of the VPN systems (virtual private networks) to guarantee remote access of the workers to the enterprise systems;
  • When possible, provide laptops and internet access services to employees;
  • Use of security systems that can be used remotely (e.g. firewalls);
  • Adoption of the collaborative tools and videoconference.

Additionally, it is recommended:

  • Identification of essential teams/roles to the business continuity;
  • Implementation of total teleworking from non-essential teams;
  • Implementation of rotating teleworking of the essential internal teams to the continuity of the business;
  • Adoption of procedures to measure the temperature on the entrance of the office buildings;
  • Definition of the social distancing rules to a minimum 2 metres, redefining the places of work, if necessary;
  • Reinforcement of the hygiene measures of the installations opened to the public or office spaces where the people with critical roles work:

                    (i)     Rules of clean desk;
                    (ii)    Provision of dispensers with hand sanitizer in strategic points (e.g. office entrance, elevators, etc.), assuring the efficient management of the products, giving the lack of some of them for the health system;
                    (iii)   Cleaning routines of the door handles, handrails, the interiors of the elevators, vending machines and other surfaces;
                    (iv)   Access doors (indoors) must keep opened to reduce the physical contact.

Besides the incentive of teleworking inside the organizations and in order to minimize the COVID-19 impacts, MEO, NOS and Vodafone offer for a period of 30 days, 10 GB of data to private and business consumers of the mobile service.

6.    Support the community

Assuring the maintenance of the levels of connectivity to the community is the main goal of the operators.

However, because the operators are aware of the radical change in people’s lives and work, it was decided, together with Sport TV, BTV and Eleven Sports, not to charge the monthly fee to the consumers.

Additionally, the operators announced the offer of 10 GB of data to mobile customers.

To help the school community, the operators have dedicated special attention to the internet use that allows online and remote school.

The operators are informing and raising awareness, via text messages and email, to the use of digital channels instead of face-to-face options.

Depending the evolution, the operators are still articulating the reinforcement measures that can contribute the quick normalization of social isolation.