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Wireless Providers Offer Goods and Services for Haiti Relief Efforts

Tue Feb 2, 2010 - 2:56 PM EST - By Annie Latham

On Monday, Verizon and Verizon Wireless announced they are extending for two more weeks the waiver of all long-distance usage charges for calls to Haiti from the companies' residential landline and wireless phones. The extension of the waiver of charges, through Feb.14, is the latest step Verizon has taken to provide help to the victims of the earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 - and their friends and loved one in the U.S.

On Tuesday, AT&T announced they are waiving cell phone charges for relief workers in Haiti using the company's services. The waiver is retroactive to Jan. 12, when the earthquake hit, and will be in effect until Feb. 28.

Additionally, AT&T is developing a calling/data plan specifically designed for relief workers in Haiti who remain there after March 1. While details are not yet finalized, the plan will help ensure that AT&T customers who are working on relief efforts in Haiti will be able to communicate as needed.

It was noted at SFGate.com that AT&T customers have so far contributed more than $12.3 million via $10 text donations.

Sprint has not officially released a statement beyond their press release dated 19 January, where in addition to their support for the relief workers in Haiti, they said the company will advance 80 percent of the funds of the mobile giving donations from its customers to the relief efforts in the Republic of Haiti, with the remaining 20 percent to be submitted under Sprint's normal 30 to 90-day settlement cycle.

That statement also noted that the Sprint Foundation matched any American Red Cross earthquake-relief donations made by Sprint employees from Wednesday, Jan. 13, through Sunday, Jan. 31, up to a total matched amount of $50,000.


Also on Tuesday, it was announced that Trilogy International Partners (TIP) and its Haitian wireless company, Voila, are receiving immediate support in the form of equipment donations from some of the world's largest telecom companies: T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint as well as phone manufacturers and distributors Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung, LG, CT Miami, RIM and Brightstar.

T-Mobile, which provided 10,000 cell phones, 42 generators, 10 COWs, 7 trucks, and approximately 500 cell phone solar chargers

AT&T, which provided 8,000 cell phones and 150 fixed wireless terminals with partners Brightstar, Sony Ericsson and Motorola

Sprint, which provided two portable towers

To learn more about how you can help, check out Sandra Block's article ("How to make your donations to Haiti charities count") from USA Today that appeared on Tuesday.


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