March 24, 2020
As we continue to closely monitor the impact of COVID-19, I assure the nation that the national telecommunications company has put in place robust measures to ensure that customers’ communications needs will be adequately managed throughout these unprecedented times. TSTT is focused on six key areas:
Network Stability and Quality Assurance. As with all networks around the world, the surge in online activity, including working and studying from home, has increased overall network throughput by an average of 35% – 40%. This level of activity is only expected to increase in the coming weeks and, as such, TSTT has implemented a series of network enhancements to ensure quality assurance. These enhancements will be even further improved given the recent decision by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) to grant immediate approval to TSTT’s request for additional spectrum.
Disseminating Vital Information. The ability to keep citizens up to date with the latest advice, and prevent the spread of ‘fake’ news, is vital in fast-developing situations. Again, this is in keeping with global standards during turbulent times. In addition to monitoring and optimizing the network, TSTT has also made it possible for customers to access accurate, up-to-date, relevant information as required. The Company has ‘zero-rated’ the websites of 13 organisations for all prepaid and postpaid bmobile customers, making it free for them to visit these sites. The websites include the World Health Organization, CARPHA, PAHO, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Communications, UNICEF and local media houses.
Connecting Vital Services. In addition to network enhancements, particular attention has been placed on areas that provide vital services. In a global health emergency, connecting health centres and hospitals are an obvious priority. As an example, to ensure uninterrupted service, TSTT has increased reserve power in key areas such as Caura, Couva and Balandra, and has a dedicated focus on health-care services in general.
Corporate Social Responsibility. In addition to zero-rating pertinent websites, TSTT has implemented (and will continue to implement) support solutions. These include working with TATT to provide free data to the underprivileged to ensure that they stay connected; increased low balance “pay later” top-up by 100%; increased throughput capacity for all data customers; increased “free wifi” time on our wifi zones; and the provision of continuous updates via SMS blasts to all customers on relevant information.
Institutional Assistance. As more companies and institutions implement work and school from home strategies, in addition to secure connections, institutions will require additional tools. These include conference/video calling software and training among other specialized applications. TSTT has its Enterprise team focused on delivering and managing these solutions for our clients.
Business Continuity and Social Distancing. TSTT activated its Business Continuity Plan three weeks ago. The company also implemented work from home and social distancing strategies for all employees. As the national service provider, TSTT ensures that all its services are available and optimized. As such, all call centre numbers, account managers, online support, etc. are, and will remain, fully operational. While bmobile stores remain open, TSTT encourages its customers to use its online platform, b-online, to pay bills and manage their accounts from the safety of their homes. Customers can Top-Up their prepaid accounts online through the app – bmobiletopup or via the website bmobile.etopuponline.com or ding.com.
Safety measures have also been implemented to protect customers who visit bmobile stores. In addition to increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing counters and high touch surfaces, social distancing practices have been implemented and stores are observing the Government’s mandate that groups of no more than 10 should gather at the same location. The flow of traffic is actively being managed to ensure that customers receive the highest quality of service in the safest possible way.
TSTT is sharing its response to COVID-19 and commitment to customers through our website – bmobile.co.tt/covid-info/. As the national provider, TSTT remains dedicated to ensuring the quality and reliability of its services and support when and where they are needed the most, and to finding ways to help Trinidad & Tobago weather this public health crisis.
Thank you for your continued support as our nation unites to overcome the challenging times.
Dr. Ronald Walcott