AT&T, T-Mobile Share Networks To Restore Service To Hurricane Sandy Victims


AT&T and T-Mobile are putting aside their competitive differences and working to make sure Hurricane Sandy victims can stay in touch with loved ones and friends. The two carriers jointly announced Wednesday afternoon they were opening their networks to each others’ customers in states affected by Hurricane Sandy and offer free roaming.

Today in the wake of destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, T-Mobile and AT&T are taking extraordinary measures to make sure our customers can stay in touch. AT&T and T-Mobile have entered into an agreement to enable roaming on their networks to customers of both companies in the heavily impacted areas and where capacity is available and for subscribers with a compatible device.

Thanks to both carriers utilizing GSM and UMTS networks, interoperability between networks is a pretty straightforward move and we’re grateful that both companies are doing everything they can to offer help to affected customers.


The full press release is below:


AT&T and T-Mobile Open Networks

to Customers of Both Carriers in New York and New Jersey

Dallas and Bellevue, Wash. — October 31, 2012 —  In the wake of destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, AT&T and T-Mobile are taking extraordinary measures to make sure our customers can stay in touch.

AT&T and T-Mobile have entered into an agreement to enable roaming on their networks to customers of both companies in the heavily impacted areas and where capacity is available and for subscribers with a compatible device.

AT&T and T-Mobile customers will be able to place calls just as they normally would, but their calls will be carried by whichever network is most operational in their area. This will be seamless for AT&T and T-Mobile customers with no change to their current rate plans or service agreements even if the phone indicates the device is attached to the other carrier’s network.

T-Mobile and AT&T both utilize network technology based on GSM and UMTS standards, which allows for this sharing of voice and data traffic.

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  • john

    Lol that combined logo actually looks kinda cool.

  • Kudos to both of them.

  • pholocity

    good on them

  • Works perfectly fine. Although T-Mobile has the better signal…Att hspa customers right now should be going holy shit, these dudes internet service is fast as hell

    • Outrager

      Can AT&T phones even use T-Mobile’s 3G? I would’ve figured it’s the same since T-Mobile phones can’t use AT&T’s 3G (not counting areas with the refarm).
      I’ll be going out later tonight in NY and see how my iPhone works out in areas that T-Mobile normally has trouble even on EDGE speeds.

      • TMOTECH

        It depends on the handset. There are very few At&t handsets that have the AWS bands.

        • eanfoso

          Question: if I were to get an at&t LTE phone, unlocked, with LTE being in 17/2100 band, would it work with t-mobile’s future LTE?

        • steveb944

          The only sure bet is to get the same bands as the Note 2 LTE on t-mobile. But I’d say make sure HSPA works also for back up signal

        • eanfoso

          The phone in question is the lumia 920, the American version has hspa+42 but LTE is on Chanel 17/2100 AWS, could I use this phone with t-mobile when LTE gets Turned On?

        • steveb944

          Don’t believe so. T-mobile will use Channel 4 it seems.

        • eanfoso

          But isn’t this mobile 1700/2100 AWS LTE? I mean I think it has the same specs as the note II but I could be wrong

        • steveb944

          I don’t know much about LTE. My only sources, which I’m not sure how legit they are, say channel 4 is AWS. 17 is at&t 700s

        • You don’t need sources for this, it’s easily researched, there’s no secret sauce here, this is public information.

        • Emperius

          Thing is, LTE(A) perhaps requires not only the freq. but the chip. No device right now has 17/21 with LTE, much less paired with the exact freq up and down.

      • Outrager

        I’m not sure if the area I’m in doesn’t have AT&T 3G or not, but I still only got EDGE in most areas instead of 3G.
        Maybe I have to change my carrier to AT&T for it to pick up AT&T 3G? I tried that but it said I couldn’t connect. I also didn’t want to change all my settings in my cellular data settings since I already had them setup for T-Mobile. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t get AT&T 3G signal. Or maybe the sharing is only for talking and text.

        • TBN27

          I am in Astoria right now on my T-Mobile GSII and i am jimping from T-Mobile 4G to AT&T 3G to t-mobile edge. It proves that when the refarm happens, this phone is ready for it.

    • I know right maybe theyll switch to tmobile

      • bleeew

        To bad they wouldn’t notice they are roaming.

    • Dakota

      Tmobile is better than ATT network? Ive always heard the opposite. My HSPA is only +21 but all I can get is 3.5 mpbs as the highest. I

      • Emperius

        Never. In fact it’ll never be.

      • Trevnerdio

        I get 20-30 down quite often when I have great signal…and hey, HSPA+ is actually a 3G service so…you can say T-Mobile has the fastest 3G around haha

    • hector09

      please explain to me what u mean cuz let’s see I’m in new Jersey typing in this from my at&t galaxy s3 and when my s3 and my wife’s att xperia ion and my sons att iPhone 5 picked up t-mobile signal they only picked up EDGE signal ,they all said “T-MOBILE ” in the screen and all had an EDGE icon even my wife noticed that our phones didn’t say att that they said T-mobile and yes data worked at horrible sloooow speeds and calls worked too. So I couldnt be all like wow t-mobile’s data network is faaast like u said so it was horrible slow . So yeaa I’m sticking with att cuz they kinda fixed it now I’m not getting LTE but I’m.getting hspa and its way faster than tmobile edge.

      • neoslan

        It’s not that T-Mobile is slow, it’s your phones. Your family’s AT&T phones are not capable of hopping onto T-Mobile’s blazing fast 4G network. They are only capable of crossing over on the 2.5G EDGE network. Unless, of course, your area has been refarmed. That’s a whole different point.

        You can’t beat T-Mobile in terms of speed in many metropolitan areas. Fastest 2.5G EDGE, fastest 3G HSPA, fastest 3.5G HSPA+, and fastest 4G LTE. Use a T-Mobile phone first before you judge the speed.

  • Yopops

    love is in the air. Hope everyone is ok!

  • Deadeye37

    Glad to see them put aside their differences for the sake of helping everyone out.

    Now if they could just get that roaming deal that they agreed to at the merger breakup rolled out to the rest of the nation…..

  • well done TMO and ATT. well done.

  • Sapphire3g

    Why not include Pennsylvania? We were hit hard too.

    • Petr

      Please include California. The news reports have been a bit depressing and alarming. I’m so sad. This hurricane has made a huge psychological impact on all Californians. We will never forget…

      • Sapphire3g

        Seriously? I’m glad your life is so much better than mine right now. You would probably be complaining about not having power or internet access and making everyone else’s life around you even more miserable.

        • bleeew

          LoL, say that when we have an earthquake. Our houses will be down if the “big one” does happen. Gas will be in the air, no real shelter, and everything broken.

        • Sapphire3g

          Why turn it into a pissing contest? How is that helpful?

  • Wilfredo Martinez

    David, do you know if this is ALREADY working? I can’t seem to connect to AT&T’s network. No service with T-Mobile at washington heights…

    • Yup, I believe it is.

      • pvl109

        It is, got calls in tech support from tmo customers stating they are seeing connection thru at&t abd its both prepaid and contract customers. this in the new york area.


      Try restarting your phone

  • pit

    I dont like the logo.

  • JBLmobileG1

    It’s nice to see both companies working together to help customers who are in the center of all this out. While many people are probably without power and possibly not even a home to go home to, at least they are able to keep in touch with their friends and family. What would be extra nice is if they were to give the customers located in the area free service for the next month to help them out… or at least the next few weeks. I am sure a cellular bill is the least of their worries during this drastic time.

  • Sergei

    Not in my area (warren county, nj) – i see at&t but phone did not connect to it.

  • fsured

    Shouldn’t roaming already be available since it was part of the failed merger terms? How is this any different except by announcing you can do it?

    • TayshaunBoba

      The failed merger agreement only allows for roaming in certain (usually rural) areas where T-Mo does not have native coverage. T-Mo does not allow inter-market roaming in places they normally have their own coverage (with some rare exceptions, like this instance).

      • fsured

        Ah ok. Detail I was missing on that agreement. Thank you.

  • Dakota

    This put a big smile on my face. I love the fact that business can put aside their differences at a time like this and join together to help both their customers. Such a great idea (and that logo is cute)…Can Verizon and Sprint do the same for CDMA

  • WD

    Aww… You guys! :'( :-)!!

  • bleeew

    Temporary 1900Mhz band if you are roaming on AT&T? Anyways T-mobile users not get to waste AT&T and have unlimited data in that area.

  • ACNJR28

    I’m from Union County NJ and Verizon and Tmobile were the only ones with signal. At&t and sprint didn’t have none whatsoever. Thanks Tmobile. Right now power coming back and everyone service is kicking in.

  • Rizno

    Going on day 3 with no service in CT.

  • So that’s why I saw AT&T come up on my phone last night. Phew! Thought something was wrong with my unlocked device

  • francis

    i wish i can say the same. t-mobile is out in my area, in marlboro nj….so no power, no internet, nd no phone signal…. bummer….

  • Jack S

    But yet on 9/11 when the towers went down and my phone reverted to AT&T’s network because the T-Mobile one was down I wound up with $200 in roaming fees over a few days that they wouldnt waive or anything.

  • DrScope

    My sister over there cant get on 3G.. Would I be right for saying that 2G towers running on generators will last longer than 3G towers? That would make scene, I guess,,