Those in New York and New Jersey may have experienced a shortage in network over the past few days in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, so cell providers T-Mobile and AT&T have decided to put their rivalry aside to offer customers extra coverage. The companies have just announced that they will be joining forces to share their networks for the affected NY and NJ areas to help those having difficulty in their search of a working signal.
AT&T and T-Mobile customers would not have to sign up for any extra features to enable the functionality. Instead, they can go about using their phones as they normally would, and hopefully the added coverage will help provide a wider range of network. The shared network agreement is possible since both companies rely on similar GSM-based networks, and data charges will still be billed to the provider that user is originally under regardless of which provider allotted the signal during the duration. Theoretically, if your phone receives both the signal from AT&T and T-Mobile networks, it will run on whichever signal is stronger.
No words on when the temporary arrangement will last, but this is a compassionate act by both AT&T and T-Mobile to offer a little bit of help while they can. As of today, there is still no power in areas below 34th street in New York City. Limited public transportation service has been reinstated, though buses are not running downtown after nightfall due to the lack of street lights, making it a “dangerous condition” for commuters and local residents. Although Con Edison recently announced that approximately 225,000 customers have had their powers restored, the rest of Manhattan will have to wait until Friday or Saturday to be back up in lights.