AT&T and T-Mobile have just announced that the two companies have decided to share their networks in the New York / New Jersey area. This move will let both AT&T and T-Mobile customers connect to either company's network, and should help those in the area that are having trouble finding cellular reception in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which hit earlier this week.
The carriers say that customers will be able to use their phones as they normally would, and that they will just connect to whatever network is strongest in their current location. Customers will not have to change their current rate plans or service agreements either. This is the first time that AT&T and T-Mobile have cooperated in such a fashion, and they are able to do so thanks to the similar GSM-based networks that each of them operate.
Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast with a vengeance on Monday, and has knocked out power, water, and cellular services in much of New York City and New Jersey. Each carrier has reported various levels of damage to their networks, but anecdotal evidence has shown that it can be very hard for users to find service in the lower parts of Manhattan and parts of northern New Jersey. Authorities report that it may be another few days before power is fully restored in many areas, so it is good to see that AT&T and T-Mobile are working together to provide customers with access to the cellular service. The carriers have not determined for how long this partnership will last, but we will update this post when we have more information to share.