Phone shops refused to close even as war raged around them
Vodafone Ukraine has restored its services in the towns of Irpin and Romanivka in Ukraine while rival operator Lifecell claims to have restored services in 34 settlements of the Kyiv region after the occupying Russian forces were pushed back.
Vodafone Ukraine has re-booted a base station supporting GSM and LTE services near the sites that have been recently regained from Russian occupation by the Ukrainian army. The base station works with backhaul support from satellite internet provider Starlink, part of SpaceX. The operator has used satellite to restore connections with locations whose network infrastrcutre was damaged during military actions.
The telco has disclosed that 287 of its shops and service centres are working despite the war in Ukraine. The list includes 46 owned shops and 244 of its dealerships. The operator plans to re-open 12 more of its own service centres from 01 April. The operator added that it already allocated €463,764 (£388,5000) in aid in relation to the war.
In mid March Vodafone Ukraine suspended limits for mobile data sharing for customers connected to tariff plans Vodafone Unlimited 3G, Vodafone Unlimited 3G Plus, Vodafone SuperNet Unlimited and Vodafone SuperNet Turbo 2019. Both daily and monthly paid data sharing options are available to customers automatically. The operator said the relaxed conditions will be available until the end of the war with Russia.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Digitalisation has upgraded its mobile application warning residents of attacks by Russian air forces. The app lets users control the volume of voice messages issued at the beginning and end of attacks. The same info is also available on a Telegram channel. Operators Lifecell, Vodafone Ukraine and Kyivstar won’t charge for mobile data traffic on the application.
More than 3.5 million Ukrainian residents have already downloaded the app, which was designed by the Ajax Systems with IT company Stfalcon and the support of the Ministry of Finance.
Lifecell said it has restored communications in the localities of Velikiye Gulyaki, Gruzskoe, Dzvonkovo, Hazing, Knyazhichi, Kozichanka, Konchaki, Leonovka, Lychanka, Lishnya, Lubskoe, Mriya, Muzichi, Negrashi, Novoselki, Osykovo, Perevoz, Prishevalnya, Sosnovka, Tomashovka, Farm, Chernogorodka, Yablunovka, Yaroshevka. Communication was partially restored in the following localities: Irpen, Stoyanka, Buzova, Gorbovichi, Gurovschina, Zhornovka, Lyubimovka, Mostyshche, Petrushki, Shpitki.