In the aftermath of Nepal's magnitude 7.8 earthquake, tech and telecom companies are offering free and discounted calling and messaging services to the country as their customers attempt to reach family and friends. Over 4,000 deaths have been confirmed so far, and a massive rescue effort remains ongoing to find those injured by the devastating quake — Nepal's worst in 80 years. We will update this list as more companies join the effort to make reaching loved ones easier (and cheaper) in the face of tragedy.
- AT&T: AT&T is offering free texts and international long distance calls from the US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands to Nepal from April 25th through May 16th. "It is our hope that family members can quickly connect with loved ones in the region as soon as possible," the company said in a press release.
- Google Voice: Google has discounted Google Voice rates and is charging one cent per minute for all calls placed to Nepal. The company says it refrained from making calls totally free "to prevent spammers from abusing our systems and possibly adding more load to the already stretched Nepalese telephone network."
- Skype: Microsoft's popular voice chat app is offering free calls to landlines and mobile phones in and out of Nepal. No Skype credit is required to make these calls.
In light of the tragic events in Nepal, all Skype calls to landlines & mobiles in & out of Nepal are free. More: [http://t.co/pz8PwVcCq6— Skype (@Skype) April 27, 2015
- Sprint: Sprint is waiving all fees for calls and texts to Nepal from April 25th through May 16th. The free calls are available to all postpaid and prepaid customers of Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA. Sprint is encouraging customers to use text messaging, which could free up voice networks for first responders, victims, and other emergency personnel.
Our thoughts are with Nepal. We’re waiving customer fees for calls & texts to Nepal. Find out how you can help: http://t.co/gHTtHIcVLx— Sprint (@sprint) April 27, 2015
- T-Mobile: T-Mobile US is waiving and crediting fees for all calls and texts to and from Nepal from April 25th through May 16th. This applies to postpaid and prepaid customers of T-Mobile, MetroPCS, GoSmart Mobile and Walmart Family Mobile with international calling.
- Time Warner Cable: All calls placed by Time Warner Cable's Home Phone and Business Services customers to landline and mobile numbers in Nepal will be free through May 25th. Time Warner Cable is making this decision retroactive and will credit customers any fees they were charged for calls placed to Nepal since April 25th. The company is also offering free calls to China and India.
TWC customers can make free calls to landline and mobile phones in Nepal between April 25 and May 25. Free calls to India and China as well.— Time Warner Cable (@TWC) April 27, 2015
- Verizon: Verizon is waiving charges for long distance calls and texts from the US to Nepalese numbers from April 25th through May 31st. For fees already charged, the company will issue credits on a future monthly bill. Verizon's residential long distance and FiOS voice customers can also place free calls to Nepal until May 31st.