AT&T has announced that it has implemented international calling and texting support efforts for US residential wireless and wireline consumers trying to connect with loved ones in Japan, following last week's tragic earthquake and tsunami. AT&T customers will either see no charges reflected on their monthly statement, or they will see a full credit applied to their statement for activity between March 11 and March 31.

AT&T wireless postpaid customers will not be charged for international long distance usage from the United States and Puerto Rico to Japan nor for text messages to Japan, originated from a US wireless number. In addition, residential wireline customers can seek credits for up to 60 minutes of direct dial calling to Japan.

Sprint followed suit. The company told PhoneScoop via e-mail that it, too, would waive the fees of its customers looking to call or text message phone lines in Japan effective March 11 to April 10.

Verizon also decided to make calls to Japan free for most wireless and residential customers from March 11 to April 10. In addition, Verizon Wireless post-paid customers in the US will receive free text and multimedia messaging to Japan for the same time period.

Customers with Verizon World Plan (300, 500 or unlimited minutes of long-distance calling) can call Japan without using any minutes from their time-allotment blocks. Additionally, Verizon Prepaid Phone Card charges for all long-distance calls placed to Japan from the United States will also be waived from March 11 until April 10. The company is also providing FiOS TV customers who are not subscribed to the channel free access to TV Japan (1770) through March 17.