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Jakarta Post

Telkom announces free telephone call, SMS services in earthquake-hit areas

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 3, 2018   /   09:30 am
Telkom announces free telephone call, SMS services in earthquake-hit areas Three of Telkomsel's base transceiver stations (BTS) that were damaged have been temporarily replaced by mobile BTS (COMBAT). (Shutterstock/File)

PT Telekomunikasi Selular, a subsidiary of state-owned telecommunications company PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), has made its SMS and telephone call services free to all operators in earthquake-hit Palu and Donggala, Central Sulawesi, for 24 hours.

“Communication is vital in such a situation, particularly between survivors and their relatives as well as for coordination between institutions like search and rescue teams, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the military and police,” said Telkomsel’s general manager for external communications, Denny Abidin, on Tuesday.

He added that it was expected to help with the recovery process in the area.

Denny said calls and SMSes have returned to normal, while the 4G service was gradually being restored in a number of areas, including Poso, Donggala, Luwuk, Toli-Toli, Buol, Pasangkayu and Tondo.

“We are focusing on important points like government offices, police stations, shelters, airports and City Hall -- which are also being used to accommodate survivors -- hospitals and the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) headquarters,” he added.

Residents could activate the free SMS and telephone call services by dialing *888*20# or texting SULTENG to 8999, Denny said, adding that after activation users would get free 50-minute telephone calls and 200 SMSes.

“As an operator, which has a wide coverage in Central Sulawesi, we are trying to reconnect our services that have been affected by the disaster,” he said as quoted by (bbn)