With the recent issues that Japan has faced following the fallout of an 8.9 earthquake and the ensuing tsunami afterwards, AT&T has announced that they are going to allow their unlocked cell phone users to make free calls to Japan till the end of the month. Since the disaster, understandably, it has been very hard for people to contact relatives inside of the country. Making outgoing calls within Japan has also been difficult. Some of those from North America that survived the quake have still not been able to make contact with their families.
The announcement by the company is the first of its kind. Shortly after the announcement by AT&T, both Sprint and Verizon announced that they were going to be extending the same offer to their users as well. They also announced that they were not going to charge users for text message fees to phones that are located within Japan.
It is good to see that these huge providers are stepping up and making it as easy as possible for people to contact family members a world away. With the issues that Japan has had in recent days with both outgoing and incoming calls, this should ease the minds of those back in the states a little bit who were worried about charges that could pile up when they try to make contact with individuals in the Japan area.
Text messages might be the best way to try to communicate, at least until things calm down. This will allow them to answer whenever the text goes through and will not require that they answer a call that may or may not go through. The announcements are welcome, and show that to these companies - it is not always all about the bottom line and profit that they could potentially see from a move.
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