This is pretty cool: AT&T and T-Mobile have both announced that they will be temporarily combining their coverage in areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy on Monday night.

The deal will allow subscribers from the two carriers to roam on either network without incurring penalties, or affecting their rate plans, and it should greatly improve their service…

Here’s the joint press release (via Engadget):

“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.”

There’s no word on how long the partnership will last, but the FCC says that 25% of the cell towers are still down in the Northeast. Either way, what a great gesture from the two companies.

Stay safe everyone.