The largest U.S. cell phone carriers are waiving charges or allowing free long-distance calling to Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
T-Mobile announced on Thursday that, until next Thursday, it would be forgoing fees associated with international long-distance and international roaming on calls and text messages made between the U.S. and Ukraine.
“T-Mobile is waiving international long-distance and international roaming charges for calls and SMS made to/from U.S. and Ukraine for T-Mobile and Sprint postpaid and prepaid consumer and business customers,” the cell phone carrier said in a statement. “This includes calls made within Ukraine to local numbers to cover roaming customers in Ukraine.”
Two other cell phone carriers joined T-Mobile on Friday: AT&T announced it would be allowing unlimited long-distance calling to Ukraine, while Verizon announced it would be waiving charges for calls to and from Ukraine.
Starting on Saturday and until March 7, AT&T said in a statement that it is “offering our consumer and business customers unlimited long distance calling from the U.S. to Ukraine. This offer is valid for all consumer and business AT&T Postpaid & PREPAID wireless customers, and consumer VoIP and landline customers. Unlimited texts to this region are standard with Mobile Share and Unlimited Texting plans.”
Verizon said that calls to and from Ukraine would be free between Friday and March 10, and added that voice and text roaming charges would also be waived for those in Ukraine.
“During these challenging times, customers need to stay connected with loved ones in Ukraine,” Manon Brouillette, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, said in a statement. “Waiving long distance charges for customers calling Ukraine will help them focus on what matters: communicating with family and loved ones.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine continued apace on Friday, with Moscow’s forces expected to attempt to capture the capital of Kyiv soon.