On Friday, many of us heard of the tragic news out of France. Where there were a series of attacks in Paris killing about 200 people (as of now, that number may rise). In the wake of these attacks, Google has opened up free calling to France on both Hangouts and Project Fi, while Facebook has opened up a tool that allows you to see how many of your friends are in Paris and you can mark them as "safe", if you know they are indeed safe. Great gestures from both Google and Facebook.
Now Verizon and Sprint have both stepped up to also allow texting and calling for free to France. While these are international calls and texts, the two carriers will not be charging their customers. In Sprint's press release, the company stated that effective November 13th, all postpaid and prepaid customers on the Sprint network will have these international rates waived in the wake of the attacks in Paris. Sprint has not yet set a date for when these fees will return. The company's CEO, Marcelo Claure first announced this on his Twitter account early this morning.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those personally affected by yesterday's unspeakable attacks in Paris," said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. "Amid the chaos and devastation, we want to do what we can to show our support and comfort to all Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile customers."
Verizon has also announced that they will be allowing free international calls and texts for their customers with friends, family or loved ones in Paris to check and be sure they are okay. However they have not yet released a press release regarding the news. As always in situations like this, it's best to keep the phone lines clear if you know that your loved ones are okay. That way if needed, emergency personnel can get through as well as others that want to be sure their loved ones are not hurt in the attacks in Paris.
Of course, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims in Paris. We will likely see T-Mobile and AT&T also announce free international calls and texts to France, but as of yet, we haven't heard anything from those two carriers.