Fund launched in addition to an array of measures undertaken by Smart such as the temporary deployment of a 5G-based telemedicine setup, additional free data and best practice dissemination campaigns.
Phnom Penh, 30th March 2020: Smart Axiata announced a 1 Million USD COVID-19 Relief Fund today in a demonstration of support as the Kingdom deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. The dedicated Fund, which is over and above Smart’s annual CSR commitment of more than 1% of its revenue, is expected to provide monetary assistance for high impact solutions to address Cambodia’s most urgent needs during and after the crisis.
This commitment is made just three days after Smart and Huawei installed a temporary onsite COVID-19 coordination and monitoring center for the Ministry of Health. Since 27th March, the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital and Chak Agre Health Centre are connected to the ministry via video conferencing facilities using 5G trial frequencies to ensure dedicated, fast and consistent performance. This temporary setup became therewith practically the first ever 5G use case live in Cambodia.
“Though we have invested hundreds of thousands in the last few weeks already, we see a major gap between actual needs of various kinds and available support so far. This 1 Million USD Fund targets initiatives based on four focus areas: ICT for Education, Crisis Management, Social Distancing and Personal Hygiene. Private and/or public sector partnerships are encouraged to submit proposals of up to 200,000 USD each,” said Thomas Hundt, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Axiata.
Applications are open from 8th April 2020, whereby proposals can be submitted based on a set of criteria. All submissions will then be shortlisted internally before being tabled to a joint evaluation committee comprising of Smart, Axiata Group and independent representatives. More information about this Fund will be provided on the ‘Smart Axiata’ and ‘Smart For Cambodia’ Facebook pages in the coming days.
“Besides temporarily connecting the Ministry of Health’s command center for free using our 5G trial licenses, we have also provided additional free data for e-top ups, Smart @Home and Enterprise customers. Yesterday, #StaySafe was added to our operator label for compatible mobile phones to encourage social distancing. Efforts to disseminate COVID-19 best practices via different channels from verified sources such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Ministry of Health have been increased. We will certainly not stop here as we continue exploring ways to make life better during this challenging time,” Thomas added.
Internally, Smart has been proactive in ensuring the well-being of all employees, partners and customers based on its company-wide Business Continuity Management Plan. This includes mandatory temperature checks and hand sanitizing, rigid cleaning procedures, requiring all frontline employees to wear masks, working from home where possible, postponing company events and encouraging virtual meetings.
“Telecommunications services are deemed essential services in many countries, alongside other public utilities such as water and electricity. As we continue monitoring the situation, we also understand that our millions of customers heavily depend on us to stay connected. Hence, we will do everything in our power to serve them effectively with the support of the Royal Government of Cambodia throughout this crisis,” Thomas concluded.
Smart Axiata Co., Ltd., Cambodia’s leading mobile telecommunications operator, currently serves 8 million subscribers under the 'Smart' brand. Smart Axiata is part of Axiata Group Berhad, one of Asia’s largest telecommunications groups.
Smart is at the forefront of mobile technology advancement in Cambodia. Smart was the first network to introduce 4G LTE in 2014, 4G+ in 2016, 4G+ with HD Voice (VoLTE) and 4.5G in 2017. In mid-2019, Smart hosted the first 5G live showcase in the Kingdom, manifesting its mobile data leadership position. Smart also provides 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 3.75G mobile services as well as international roaming across more than 190 countries. Its extensive nationwide network coverage stretches to 99% of the Cambodian population.
The company is also rapidly transforming itself into a digital lifestyle brand, having introduced many innovative offerings and lifestyle entertainment value propositions. This includes various international brand partnerships with Universal Music, Apple and Facebook, as well as digital services including SmartLuy, Smart Insurance, SmartPay, Pleng by Smart, GigaGigs by Smart and SmartNas. Smart aspires to be the #1 and most loved communication tech brand in Cambodia by 2022, while having a strong corporate social responsibility and sustainability agenda for national socio-economic growth.
The company's workforce consists of over 1000 local and foreign experts striving towards a common mission of connecting and making lives better. Live. Life. Be Smart.