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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 22, 2009

AT&T Donates Over 230,000 Prepaid Phone Cards to U.S. Military Members in 2009

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

AT&T (News - Alert), in association with United Service Organizations, or “USO,” a private non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of U.S. military members, is donating more than 230,000 prepaid phone cards to military personnel stationed overseas in 2009.

According to AT&T officials, this season’s donation is in honor of U.S. military families around the world.

“At AT&T, we know the holidays are special because they’re about bringing families and loved ones together,” Judy Cavalieri, vice president, Prepaid Products,
AT&T, said in a statement. “For military families, we know that can be hard when a loved one is stationed away from home. So, we’re glad to do what we can to help keep them connected during the holidays — and all year long.”

Recently, AT&T announced that it would donate more than 30,000 phone cards this year. However, the company recently announced at this year’s Army-Navy game in Philadelphia that it would offer more than 230,000 prepaid cards with a total retail value of more than $1 million.

“The USO would like to thank AT&T, our partner for more than 20 years, for donating prepaid phone cards,” Sloan Gibson, USO president and CEO, said in a statement. “These cards will allow U.S. troops around the world to connect with family and friends during the holidays.”

Donated cards are being distributed at overseas military bases and during USO entertainment tours. In the weeks leading up to and surrounding the holidays, the USO is helping AT&T distribute thousands of phone cards to troops throughout Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Germany, company officials said. 

Operation USO Care Package is a program organized by USO to help wounded military members. Through this program, USO will distribute phone cards to wounded military members at Landsthul Regional Medical Center. Each donated phone card will provide military members with 20 minutes of free talk time from Iraq to the U.S.

AT&T has been promoting cell phone recycling programs to encourage users to be part of government’s initiative towards greener environment. The company shares part of its recycling proceeds with Cell Phones for Soldiers, a charity that provides free phone cards to military members.

AT&T was recently ranked as the greenest global carrier by ABI Research (News - Alert) in its latest Vendor Matrix. 

The Matrix evaluates companies on a number of criteria, including their environmental friendliness, clean technology initiatives focused on green network infrastructure, green network equipment, green handsets and handset recycling.

To find out more about Eric Cheung, Hank Hiltquist and AT&T, visit the company at the 4GWE Conference. To be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami and collocated with ITEXPO East 2010, the 4GWE Conference will focus on the realities of deploying 4G technologies and delivering broadband wireless applications to a growing community of wireless broadband consumers. Cheung is speaking during “Network Operators Prepare for the 200MB Lifestyle” and Hank Hilltquist is speaking during “Industry Perspective – Towerstream.” Don’t wait. Register now.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire