Sprint, T-Mobile launch free calling to Japan


Not wanting to up be outshone by their competitors during a disaster, U.S. mobile operators Sprint and T-Mobile have announced they are joining AT&T and Verizon Wireless in offering free international calling and text messaging to Japan, enabling their customers to more easily get in tough with friends, family, colleagues, emergency personnel, and others in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami that struck the island.

Sprint is waiving fees for wireless calls and text messages to and from Japan on Sprint’s networks retroactively from March 11, running through April 10, 2011. Sprint is also extending its waiver for a selection of Japan disaster-relief short codes and mobile donation campaigns through June 30, 2011, including $10 donation that can be made to the American Red Cross, Convoy of Hope, World Relief Corp, and the Salvation Army.

“It is Sprint’s hope that this continued support of the relief efforts in Japan will further aid family, friends, and emergency personnel affected by last week’s earthquake—helping them stay connected, safe and informed,” said Sprint’s VP for corporate social responsibility Ralph Reid, in a statement.

T-Mobile is taking similar steps, waiving fees for postpaid T-Mobile customers calling Japan calling Japan retroactively to March 11 through March 31. Postpaid customers can also make free Wi-Fi calls to and from Japan over the same dates, and SMS messaging to and from Japan will also be free for post-paid customers over the same date range. T-Mobile is also waiving per-text fees for $10 mobile donations to the Red Cross.

Earlier this week, AT&T and Verizon Wireless announced similar plans to waive fees for customers trying to contact Japan.

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