Mobile operators collaborate to drive change and improve quality of life

Mobile operators collaborate

Our mobile networks around the world serve more than 5 billion people. Industry leaders are committed to building a better future for everyone and improving the quality of life through connectivity in third world countries.

We Care is a multi-partner scheme where the main global telecoms companies have joined together to tackle a variety of social problems. Local operators have collaborated with governments, regulators and NGO’s (Non-Government Organisations) to promote and motivate each campaign. Solutions are intended to have a positive impact on society which includes promoting digital inclusion, reducing street crime, ramping-up child protection initiatives, supporting handicapped citizens and taking care of the environment.

The latest country to become a part of the ‘We Care’ scheme is Tunisia. The Tunisian government is partnering with the country’s mobile operators in an attempt to develop and produce an early warning system to alert its citizens who are risk of major natural disasters. The service is SMS based and forms part of the launch of the ‘We Care’ in the country, the first launch of the initiative in the Middle East and North Africa.

The initiative is a collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Interior and the Tunisian Ministry of Technologies of Communication and Digital Economy and Ooredoo, Orange and Tunisie Telecom.

The main reasons behind the scheme is that Tunisia frequently experiences flooding disasters after torrential rainfall. In the past, this has caused substantial loss of life as well as damage to local infrastructure and homes. In September 2018, torrential rainfall in the Cap Bon peninsula resulted in a high amount of human casualties and severe damage to property.

The GSMA is delighted to be working in collaboration with the Tunisian government and the country’s mobile ecosystem on the successful launch of ‘We Care’ in Tunisia. The new SMS alert system is a great demonstration of how industry players can work together to enable mobile technology to play a vital role in protecting citizens.”
Jawad Abbassi, Head of MENA region, GSMA

To target such a serious issue, the new service will use an SMS-based alert to send instant target information before and during the natural disaster. This is intended to improve the responses and readiness from individuals and also to prepare the emergency services. When a major potential risk is identified, The MoI (Ministry of Interior) will then send a notification to the mobile operators. This notification will be based on the recommendation and predictions from National and Regional Natural Disaster Committees. Notifications will include the content of the alert to be broadcast and the location of the area of concern. Operators will then send the relevant message via SMS to citizens in and around the affected areas.

The service is expected to be in place before the next rainy season of 2020, which is expected to begin in September.

The ‘We Care’ initiative is part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals introduced in 2016. The scheme is just one of many, supported by the GSMA intended to improve the lives of those within the poorest countries, providing access to mobile internet and bridging the digital divide through increased connectivity.

As a result of the ‘We Care’ project, telecoms companies and operators around the world are taking steps to make sure that their customers are able to enjoy the transformative advantages of mobile technologies in a safe and reliable environment. In-Country initiatives such as this, further supports the industry’s intention to the development goals put in place by the United Nations and also drive impact on a local level.

Our citizens are increasingly demanding reliable, accurate and timely information during the floods. This is why it is essential for us to have a public alert system based on digital solutions that will be accessible to everyone.”
His Excellency Mohamed Anouar Maarouf, Minister of Communication Technologies and the Digital Economy

We Care initiatives serve to target 10 main areas: digital inclusion; children and mobile; environmental care; disaster response; SMS spam control; mobile privacy; mobile and health; infrastructure deployment; contribution to public safety; and handset theft. The scheme first launched in 2014, and there are now over 30 projects running in 21 markets internationally; in collaboration with 70 mobile operators.