Tim, Vodaphone, Wind and H3G, the four companies controlling the cell-phone networks in Italy, have joined forces to raise money to provide aid to the disaster-struck areas in south east Asia. Cell-phone owners can make a donation of 1 by sending an SMS to the number 48580; the money is either added to the cell-phone owners bill or is deducted from available pre-paid credit. The cell-phone network operators have promised that they will make no charge for this and that the entire amount donated will go to providing aid. More than 2 million was donated in the first two days and as the campaign gained publicity donations multiplied to more than 21 million by 1 January. It seems that the simplicity of making the donation has caught the imagination of Italians, where millions of cell-phone users spend an average of 5 a day on calls.
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