Following on from TPG Telecom’s announcement earlier today regarding free calls to Tonga, Telstra has announced that they are doing something very similar. To aid folks trying to get in touch with family and loved ones in Tonga following the volcanic eruption and resulting tsunami Telstra has decided to provide free calls and texts to Tonga for a limited time.

From midnight tonight Telstra will be waiving charges for calls to Tonga for the next week but only for calls made from Telstra home phones and post-paid mobiles. Telstra has not made this offer available for pre-paid mobiles as TPG Telecom (Vodafone etc) have done just yet, and it is only for a week (we are unsure why these limitations given the scope of this natural disaster), but Telstra has said they will continue to monitor the situation and will “extend this offer – and the time it’s available – if needed.”

As with TPG Telecom there is a small disclaimer that the calls may be unstable, or you may not be able to gain access immediately due to the infrastructure damage but recommend you keep trying to contact family and friends if you have any issues.

That isn’t all Telstra is doing though — they are also providing:

“Technical support and satellite technology…..on RAAF flights with DFAT over the past two days. The first of the telecommunications and satellite technology support items we provide arrived yesterday and we expect a further delivery today on a second RAAF flight. “

If you are a Telstra customer and have family and friends in Tonga you no longer have the added stress of call and text message costs — goodness knows you (and those in Tonga) have enough to worry about.