In response to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, American telecom providers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, are offering free calling and free texting to Japan. According to TECHNOLOG, AT&T will be offering “billing relief,” which means that postpaid wireless holders as well as residential wire line services will not be charged for international communication to Japan. Residential wire line customers are limited to 60 minutes of call time. Additionally, this offer will only be available from March 11th to March 31st.
Verizon has taken a similar approach, stating: “All calls made from a Verizon residential landline to Japan will be rated at $0.00 per minute, from March 11th through April 10th. Customers with Verizon World Plan (300, 500 or unlimited minutes of long-distance calling) can call Japan without using any minutes from their time-allotment blocks.” In addition, all charges on prepaid Verizon phone cards will be waived. Verizon FIOS TV customers, who are not already subscribed to TV Japan, will be able to view the 24 hour news channel for free up until March 17th. Mobile Beat also confirmed that Sprint will be offering the same billing relief plan as Verizon.
Finally, T-Mobile is waiving fees for customer calls and text-messages to and from Japan from March 11th through March 31st as well. Standard SMS fees for $10 mobile donations to the Red Cross have also been waived.