AT&T and T-Mobile have signed an agreement that lets subscribers to either company roam on either network in devastated parts of the country where Hurricane Sandy has left users with poor cellular coverage.
In the past 72 hours, our nation’s mobile carriers have been through quite a bit. Sandy left a wake of destruction in her path. In fact, this morning the FCC said that 25 percent of towers in 10 states are down.
The new (and temporary) deal between AT&T and T-Mobile should allow customers to place calls on either network, as both the blue and pink carriers have GSM/UMTS-based networks.
This will be at no extra effort of the customer, but rather than an overloaded AT&T or T-Mobile network dropping a call, the one with least congestion in the area will pick it up to lighten the load.
This will not affect customers’ current rate plans or service agreements, despite the fact that the device itself may indicate roaming. But no worries.
It’s unclear how long the deal will remain in place, but we learned this morning that cell coverage will get worse before it gets better. In any case, this is a great thing that both carriers are doing and we applaud them for rallying to keep people connected at this very crucial time.