With call rates at Rs 1 per minute soldiers can now speak longer with loved ones
To ensure that the personnel of the armed and para-military forces can speak longer with their loved ones, the Ministry of Communications announced reduced call rates on Digital Satellite Phone Terminal (DSPT).
"It's a Diwali gift from the ministry to soldiers. They can now talk to their families for longer durations without worrying about the charges,"Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said.
Earlier, soldiers paid a monthly sum of Rs 500 and Rs 5 per minute as call charges on most connections on DSPT.
The government's move reduces call rates, from Rs 5 to Re 1 per minute.
"Starting tomorrow, the monthly charge on DSPT will be completely discarded. For phone calls, instead of Rs 5 per minute, soldiers will now have to pay Re 1 per minute," the minister also said.
Currently, the country has 2,500 operational satellite phone connections. Satellite phone service, which was being provided by Tata Communications, will now be provided by the state-run BSNL.
"We have capacity of 5,000 connections. We are informing the defence and the home ministries that more connections can be given. The total capacity can be further increased, if required, in six months," Sinha further added.