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Cheap calls for war zone troops

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British frontline troops deployed in war zones will now pay less for mobile or satellite phone calls to friends and families back home.

The government has announced a subsidy of £1.4m to help towards phone costs for those stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.

Soldiers deployed on the front line currently get 30 minutes of free calls per week to anywhere in the world.

Troops will now be able to make extra calls at a cost of 11p per minute.

Calls from hand-held satellite phones previously cost 89p per minute.

Announcing the changes, Defence Secretary Des Browne, said: "This funding will ensure that though our brave boys and girls may be far from home, they can always be in touch with their loved ones."

Extra calls from bases to home cost 11p per minute.

British forces also have free internet access to email their friends and family.

The British Forces Post Office also offer the free system of eblueys - a form of e-mail - to troops worldwide.

An ebluey is printed in the area the recipient is operating in, within 24 hours of it being sent from the family home.


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