Australian telcos unite in tsunami relief effort

Australia’s mobile phone operators announced today they had rallied together to help drive donations towards the Asian tsunamis and earthquake appeal.

The ’Australia Unites’ initiative has seen telecommunications companies set up a system where mobile customers can send an SMS to donate money to the appeal.

The companies involved are: Telstra; Optus; Vodafone; 3; Orange; Virgin Mobile; AAPT; Primus Telecom; Austar; SimPlus; m8 telecom; B Digital; DigiPlus; and People Telecom.

Three special donation numbers have been created, each with a dollar value attributed to them.

The relief effort donation numbers are:

  • 193 002 to donate $2
  • 193 005 to donate $5
  • 193 010 to donate $10

Australians can send a free SMS with the word "unite" to the special number to have the corresponding amount donated to the relief effort. The donation will then be added to their next mobile phone bill or deducted from their pre-paid mobile account balance.

The initiative is being run in conjunction with Channel Seven, Nine and Ten’s ’Australia Unites – Reaching out to Asia’ relief concert on 8 January 2005 and Channel Nine’s coverage of the tsunami appeal cricket match on 10 January 2005.

SMS donation lines will be open from 12.01am (AEDT) Friday, 7 January to 11.59pm on Tuesday 11 January 2005. All money raised will be donated to World Vision.