Throughout the pandemic, there was a drastic increase in the deployment of smart city technologies, namely in GCC countries. Weathering the storm of the pandemic was no easy feat but the GCC countries harnessed their advanced infrastructure to the maximum in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. From contact tracing technologies to apps, the GCC did a great deal. However, with new technology, comes new challenges. What does the deployment of these new technologies mean for corporate governance?

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Data traffic made headlines in the telecoms industry in light of the exceptional measures businesses and individuals had to abide by due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, data traffic increases were registered all over the world and telcos had to be up to the challenge of catering to data-related needs.

Read more: MTN GlobalConnect CEO lauds the operator’s network resilience

This year has been nothing short of transformational for several public and private enterprises across the region and the rest of the world. The wholesale industry, in particular, had a unique experience throughout the pandemic, as people were forced into lockdown and began to study and work from home, causing a huge surge in internet traffic.

Read more: Vaneet Mehta discusses experience of wholesale industry amid COVID-19 at 14th Telecom Review Summit

COVID-19 updates

Kuwait Telecommunications Company – stc has announced that in order to ensure the health and safety of both customers and employees, the company has activated its precautionary measures as part of its business continuity plan to maintain and assure key operations and customer support channels.

In compliance with the Kuwaiti government’s rigorous and effective plan to battle the current conditions, stc has adjusted its operations in accordance with social distancing, encouraging customers to stay at home and fulfill their telecom needs online or by phone.

Utilizing its digital transformation framework, stc’s highly secured systems allow employees to work remotely while maintaining all existing communication channels with customers to meet and exceed their expectations.

The Company has also expanded its network capabilities, allowing a seamless and interruption-free experience, catering to the current situation. To ensure the highest safety standards, customers are encouraged to take advantage of stc’s digital channels, online resources and innovative platforms during this challenging time.

For online assistance, customers can visit stc Kuwait’s website which includes a live chat option with agents on standby to answer any customer queries.

Customers are offered certain attractive offers only available via stc digital platforms and are also able to purchase the latest smartphones and other electronic devices through stc’s E-Store which now offers a 3-hour door-to-door delivery service.

stc's mobile application “mystc” , available on the App store (for IOS devices) and Google Play store (for Android devices), offers a variety of services that customers can utilize during this time, which include viewing and paying bills, SIMs delivery, recharge and balance transfer, special offers for prepaid customers and access to detailed voice and data usage statistics. stc’s call center will continue to provide customers with 24/7 assistance during this period through the 102 customer service hotline.

For matters that require customers to visit one of stc’s branches, limited points of sales remain open to serve customers from 10am – 3pm in compliance with the country’s newly implemented curfew. Kiosk machines are also available to customers at various locations for bill payments and recharging prepaid lines.  For more information on these different locations, visit stc website.

In terms of B2B services, stc sales, support, and installation teams remain fully operational to support business customers and fulfill any new requirements for businesses in Kuwait. All B2B communication channels previously offered to existing customers will continue as is on a 24/7 basis.

Business customers can contact the 155 hotline for any after sales requirements, or manage their account through the business portal on stc’s website. If existing business customers require any additional services, they can also contact their account manager directly or send an email to the enterprise sales section of the company.

In addition, stc cooperated with the Communication & Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA) in a series of initiatives to ensure stc services are meeting customer requirements, where it recently provided its customers with free unlimited local calls to all mobile operators, as well as free 5GB daily data usage which started on 22 March 2020 until 20 April 2020.

These initiatives fall in line with stc’s commitment to comply with the Kuwaiti government’s regulations during this difficult period. The Company considers the health and safety of both its customers and staff as a top priority during this time and will spare no effort in ensuring that all precautionary measures are taken. It is also worth mentioning that stc has launched, organized and participated in several social responsibility initiatives focusing on spreading awareness and informing the public about the COVID-19 pandemic.