Digitalization more important than ever

Across the globe we are currently experiencing major disruptions to our daily lives due to the coronavirus pandemic. As countries close borders and school children, students and employees are urged to stay at home, networks that allow us to access information and to communicate remotely are more important than ever. It means that Telia Company has a key role to play in this crisis.

Society’s ability to weather the storm depends on a wide range of large and small initiatives, and on all of us stepping up to face the challenge in a responsible way. Experts on infectious diseases encourage us to flatten the curve through social distancing, while at the same time we must secure that vital functions in our society are working. We need to create conditions that enable a fast economic and societal recovery once we are past the peak of the pandemic.

Connectivity and digitalization will be crucial. As children are staying home from school they must be able to continue their education by using digital solutions. As office employees are urged to work from home, they must be able to log on and access their office and work tools remotely and interact with their coworkers through video conferencing and other remote-meeting solutions. And when people are confined to their home, they must be able to access digital services, entertainment and information as well as stay in touch with friends and family in a sustainable way.

For Telia Company, this means that we have a special responsibility. We are part of the backbone of the digital society. More than half of the world’s internet traffic runs through Telia Carrier’s networks, and Telia is the largest or second largest operator in most of the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Keeping the networks up and running is of the utmost importance, as many important services rely on our network – not least within healthcare. We have approximately 20,000 employees and we will look out for every one of them too, now and always. All of this, as well as continuing to broadcast independent news and information through our media operation, are now Telia Company's most important tasks.

Telia Company’s mission in this crisis is to enable companies to keep their businesses running even though their people must stay at home. It is also to enable friends and family to stay in touch and to take care each other, while following the guidelines provided by the authorities. Not the least, we have a responsibility to support society. Below, you can find out more about the measures we have taken during this crisis.

Once this crisis subsides, people across the world will have gained a deep understanding of digitalization. If that understanding, in the long-term, leads to improved, more efficient and sustainable ways to work and do business, then we will see that we rose to the challenges brought to the fore by this pandemic.

 

Raised readiness across Telia Company amidst coronavirus

From the outset of this pandemic, Telia Company has increased its readiness and adapted its organization to ensure delivery and internal efficiency under the new conditions. Thanks to a broad range of telecom-based tools for collaboration, Telia Company's business is running with continued high efficiency.

We monitor the developments closely and follow recommendations and regulations issued by local authorities throughout our markets. In all countries where Telia Company operates, most employees now work from home. This is not the case in parts of the company where business-critical activities require physical presence in the workplace. Where this is the case, working routines are secured to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Telia's stores are open in areas where authorities have not called for their temporary closing. In stores too, special guidelines are applied regarding number of visitors at one time on and there are also other measures in place.

At present, national restrictions apply within the following areas relevant to Telia Company’s operations:

  • Work-from-home requirements: All countries except for Sweden, where they apply to the Stockholm region
  • Border control: All countries
  • Travel restrictions: All countries. In Norway and Estonia, restrictions also apply to domestic travel
  • Quarantine rules: All countries
  • Schools/childcare closures: All countries. Restrictions apply to universities and secondary schools in Sweden and Finland
  • Public gatherings restrictions: All countries, although the number limitation vary. The most important restrictions are in Estonia and Lithuania, where all public gatherings are prohibited
  • Restrictions on opening of stores: Such restrictions apply for all stores in Lithuania and Moldova. In Denmark restrictions apply to shopping malls. Telia stores in shopping malls in Denmark are closed as a consequence
  • Government support measures in place: All countries

 

Telia Company takes supportive measures

Telia Company’s mission in this crisis is to help the society to mitigate the crisis, enable companies to keep their businesses running, friends and family to stay in touch and to enable people to not only to care for their own safety but also to take care of each other. Here, we want to tell you more about the measures we have taken.

Connectivity
Connectivity has never been as important as now when people rely on mobile networks to talk, meet, work, interact and access information and services. As data and voice demand surge, we are focused on ensuring connectivity and maintaining high network capacity and performance so that life can go on, people can stay in touch and work and businesses can remain active.

Digitalization
As more people are working and studying from home, we are supporting this new way of living by providing support and guidance to individuals and businesses on digital transformation and how to do things online safely. We are happy to share how to communicate, lead, learn and collaborate virtually. 

Support and collaboration to mitigate Covid-19
Reliable information on the movements of people is key to restricting the spread of the coronavirus. We are collaborating with national authorities to use aggregated and anonymized data to analyze people movement patterns and help decisionmakers to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Telia Company has published a paper on its position on the use of data to help fight Covid-19, which can be found here.

We are also supporting the health care sector with our digital health monitoring solutions.

More children are contacting children’s rights organizations with their worries. We are proud to enable more children who need it to contact and get help from Swedish children’s rights organization Bris during this challenging time.


In Sweden: We are offering advice and tools regarding working remotely, both to our employees and to business customers, here: Smart Worklife. We have also made our solution Telia Telemöte available at no cost for six months to businesses that need it.

We are also delivering more capacity in our existing solutions to organizations across the spectrum, especially in public sector like schools and healthcare.

Our Crowd Insights solution provides information on how much people have reduced their travel as a result of the novel coronavirus. The data can also show where larger groups of people are located. We recently started to deliver insights from this service to the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

Reducing pressure on healthcare institutions is vitally important in times like these. Telia Bemanning and Telia Incidenthantering are intended to help healthcare providers focus on their patients.

We are providing Region Skåne with video meeting capabilities that allows patients with covid-19 or those in risk groups to meet with doctors and nurses without having to visit their local hospital. In Västra Götaland we are providing remote patient monitoring for those with heart conditions, enabling proactive care while the patient remains at home.

A comprehensive COVID-19 Program developed with partner Tactio Care allows physicians to monitor, engage and communicate with medium-risk patients in the comfort and safety of their home, saving bed capacity for high-risk patients.

Telia and Platform24 help Region Jämtland Härjedalen to open a digital clinic to reduce the burden on healthcare while increasing the availability of consultation and care.

The #EnsammaTillsammans (alone together) initiative encourages people, and especially the elderly, to carry on socializing, but safely and digitally. The campaign inspires people to stay in contact with families and friends digitally. To make it easier for people connect, Telia’s customers over 70 get 100 GB surf for the rest of the year.

We are also proud to support the work of children’s right organizations like Friends and Bris during this worrying time. 

In Denmark, we are offering concrete advice and tools regarding working remotely, both to our employees and to our Enterprise customers. We have made our solution Telia Touchpoint available for all Danish companies at no cost for three months.

Our Crowd Insights solution provides information to the Danish government on behavioral patterns. The data can show much people have reduced their travel as a result of the restrictions due to the coronavirus and also where larger groups of people are located.

We are helping Danes stuck abroad with more data, text and voice to no extra charge to ensure their need to follow the news, call home, contact the government, look up traveling guidance etc. 

We have added TV2 News in our TV-subscription free of charge, so everyone can stay updated on the Corona-situation.

In Lithuania too, several activities are in place to support employees and the public, such as tools and solutions that are particularly helpful for working remotely.

We have made donations to health care staff and their school children to support them with home schooling during quarantine. In addition, Telia in Lithuania supports SOS Children villages who lack the necessary equipment for home schooling.

More than ten corona related help lines i.e health, volunteering, donations etc are free of charge to callers.

We changed the name of our network as it appears on people’s smartphones to “Stay home”.  

Most recently, together with the City of Vilnius we bring the popular annual cherry blossoms to people’s home in an exclusive live broadcast in 4K resolution (https://karantinas.lt/sakuros/). 

In Estonia, tools and advice for working remotely are widely offered in Estonia too, as well as special support for family doctors, with faster internet and IT service advice. Telia also offers municipalities, educational institutions and other public sector organizations, as well as commercial companies, specific, extra services.

To help students who lack broadband internet or computers to study remotely, we are cooperating with other operators and volunteers to donate routers and necessary equipment.

We have also started to broadcast the live “Interactive classroom” program to schoolchildren from seventh to twelfth grade in Estonia in our own tv channel Inspira. Experts share their learning experiences and best practices for online home schooling, remote young students can interact and ask questions, parents will gain greater understanding and teachers learn how to improve their learning capabilities online. The program is aired in cooperation with Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and the Union of Educational Technologists. 

In Norway, network capacity is top priority too, and Telia staff is working in close cooperation with partners and customers to secure operations. No major, unusual network occurrences have been reported.

In collaboration with the Animal Park in Kristiansand and the Atlantic Park in Ålesund, Telia has launched a new solution that makes it possible to experience the two parks digitally - without being physically present.
Telia in Norway is sponsoring online concerts run by Oslo's Sentralen arts centre to support Norwegian artists during the coronavirus restrictions. So far, more than 350,000 people have watched more than 50 concerts on Facebook or YouTube.
In cooperation with Good Game, Telia offers new daily tournaments free of charge in Fifa or Fortnite.

As in other countries, Telia‘s anonymized and aggregated data is used to help analyze people’s movements as a result of the novel coronavirus. 

Telia in Finland has set up a support page for working remotely and are in close contact with businesses and consumers to respond to any issues. We offer no-charge addition of news and children’s channels as well as discounts to existing Telia TV channel packages.

Telia in Finland is providing the Finnish Government with our Crowd Insights location data solution which analyzes people’s movements to support authorities’ decision-making.

To support small businesses hit especially hard by the coronavirus crisis,Telia in Finland used its advertising space to launch a nationwide campaign and promote small local businesses and entrepreneurs. In addition to the marketing campaign, other large companies are invited to help the smaller ones and Telia also provides a website and tools for digital business.

After cancelling the playoffs due to the coronavirus, the Finnish ice hockey league Liiga and Telia partnered to instead hold the playoffs with the NHL 20 console game - from players’ homes. The ePlayoffs are broadcast by Telia Esports Series and viewers get the full TV broadcast treatment with commentaries and studio talk.