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AT&T provides support to aid Haiti earthquake victims

Donates 1,000 wireless phones to Haitian carrier, works with business allies to provide a total of 7,000 phones to relief effort.  Company builds on relationship with leading charities to enhance relief efforts to disaster-hit country

DALLAS, TX — AT&T* (NYSE:T) is offering further assistance and support to earthquake victims in Haiti through a variety of programs and initiatives that include direct support for leading relief organizations, donating wireless devices to help re-establish communications, and enabling donations from AT&T customers and employees.

AT&T’s response to the disaster includes:

  • Coordinating the donation of 7,000 wireless phones to Voila, a Haitian wireless carrier and one of the only carriers with service in the country
  • Providing smartphones and service to Concern Worldwide, an international humanitarian organization, which is on the ground in Haiti helping with relief efforts
  • Adding to an earlier grant from  AT&T by donating to two additional leading non-profit organizations
  • Expediting donations pledged by AT&T customers from their mobile device to the American Red Cross (customers type the word HAITI and send the message to 90999).
  • Continuing a companywide employee giving program for several relief organizations

Donated wireless devices

For days after the quake, Voila’s wireless network was one of the only ones operating in much of Port-au-Prince.  “The demand and need for phones among relief users is beginning to put an enormous strain on our resources,” according to John W. Stanton, chairman, Voila. “We are giving away phones to government, military and rescue workers in astonishing numbers and we are giving away free service on those phones.”

Voila turned to AT&T for help. On Monday, the company arranged to airlift 1,000 Motorola EM330 wireless phones to Haiti, which Voila representatives could then provide to many of those in dire need of communications devices. “Right now there is virtually no landline service in Port-au-Prince,” said William W. Hague, AT&T executive vice president, Roaming and International.  “There’s no question that we needed to help this country recover its communications infrastructure which is so vital to helping Haitians rebuild in the wake of this devastating tragedy.”

AT&T reached out to business allies to seek additional help. Brightstar, a global wireless industry distribution and supply-chain leader based in Miami, agreed to share with AT&T the cost of providing and delivering 5,000 more wireless devices to the Haiti relief effort. “We are absolutely committed to helping Haiti recover from this tremendous tragedy,” said Marcelo Claure, chairman, president and CEO of Brightstar. “With this joint initiative between Brightstar and AT&T, we are working quickly to help alleviate the suffering, and assist in the rebuilding.”

After being contacted by AT&T, Sony Ericsson US moved fast as well, arranging to donate 1,000 more devices to the Haiti relief effort. “Sony Ericsson is proud to work with AT&T in the relief effort,” said John Stroud, Sony Ericsson Vice President of U.S. Sales. “It is essential that those leading the relief effort in Haiti are equipped with the most reliable mobile technology possible.”

Corporate donations

Last week AT&T announced it is providing a $50,000 donation to Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) to support their relief work on disasters in Haiti and around the globe. This support has been augmented by funding to two other leading organizations. Project HOPE and Aidmatrix will each receive $50,000 to support their work from AT&T.

Project HOPE (http://www.projecthope.org) delivers health education, medicines, medical supplies and volunteer help where needed.  Each year since 2005, HOPE has participated with the U.S. Navy in humanitarian assistance missions to multiple countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and South East Asia.

HOPE is sending medicines, medical supplies and health care volunteers to Haiti to care for the injured. Currently, Project HOPE has a small advance team on board the hospital ship USNS Comfort, which set sail from Baltimore to Port-au-Prince on January 16. Plans are underway to add more civilian volunteers to the Comfort’s relief efforts. In addition, Project HOPE is distributing from a secure warehouse in Santo Domingo more than $1 million of medicines and medical supplies to hospitals and clinics in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. More shipments of donated medicines and medical supplies are expected to arrive at the warehouse later this week and in the weeks ahead.

The Aidmatrix Foundation, Inc. (http://www.aidmatrix.org/) is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Dallas, with offices in Germany and India. It enables non-profit organizations, governments and business to coordinate efforts and share resources.  Leaders from across the government, business and nonprofit sectors are activating on the Aidmatrix Network® to coordinate relief efforts for the Haitian Earthquake Relief.

Project HOPE, ISTAT’s (International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading) Airlink program, ALAN (American Logistics Aid Network), MedShare, Adventist Community Services (ACS), Powered by ACTION, CARE, USNORTHCOM and more have activated their portals or joined other installations on the Aidmatrix Network® in order to post needs, accept donation offers, and match them to help those in the region impacted by this devastating earthquake.

TSF deployed an emergency team from their Americas base in Managua to provide vital support for emergency telecommunications in Haiti, taking with them satellite mobile and fixed telecommunications tools. This initial deployment was supported by a further team from TSF’s international headquarters in France.

After their arrival, TSF experts immediately installed a satellite connection supporting emergency responders. TSF experts have set up multiple broadband access points, Internet connections and phone lines in the coordinating and logistics centers located near the airport.

In addition TSF has deployed two calling centers in Haiti and they are now operational in south-west Port-au-Prince.

Additionally, AT&T is providing smartphones, with service, to Concern Worldwide US, Inc., an international humanitarian organization. The Concern team has been on the ground in Haiti since shortly after the earthquake.  The need for smartphones came to AT&T through social media channels and AT&T responded, giving devices to the team in Haiti. Daily blogs from their staff in the field are available on their website at www.concern-worldwide.org or you can follow their team leader on the ground via live Twitter updates at: http://twitter.com/aidwkr

Texted donations to Red Cross

Wireless customers of AT&T have pledged millions of dollars to the Red Cross International Relief Fund by pledging a $10 donation via text message from their mobile device. To date more than $10 million has been pledged by AT&T customers. Customers type the word HAITI and send the message to 90999.

A confirmation message will arrive within a few minutes, to which the customer replies “yes” to confirm the donation. 100 percent of all money donated will be passed on to the Red Cross. The donations will appear as a line-item on the customer’s bill or be debited from a prepaid account.

The funds raised through the program go to the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to the thousands of victims in Haiti.“This is a magnificent response by AT&T customers,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.

Employee giving

Internally,  AT&T is providing a way for U.S. based employees to donate to a group of relief agencies at a special Web site we have established. By accessing this special page, employees can select from the following donation opportunities:

  • Red Cross International Relief Fund
  • United Way International
  • Helping Hands for Haiti

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T ?DIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T’s Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.

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