Following Friday’s explosion at Pike River mine, Vodafone has been working with The New Zealand Red Cross to provide essential communications support to those affected, the company said in a statement.
The Vodafone Network Operations Team has deployed extra mobile cellsites to the region to best manage capacity while there is significantly increased demand in the area.
All services in the region are working, and additional 3G capacity was scheduled to be available by the end of Monday.
Vodafone,s rural partner, Farmside, is currently working to deploy a self-aligning satellite dish, which will be used to connect a free wi-fi hotspot to the internet.
"We want to ensure that the people most intimately involved don’t have to worry about telecommunications during this very difficult time," the company said in a statement.
"For that reason we have offered free local, national and mobile calls to the families of those affected as well as the volunteers. This support can be accessed either through the Red Cross or from 100% Ellery’s in Greymouth."
Telecom has also boosted mobile coverage in the area, and provided free calling for those affected by the tragedy.