KT offers a soldiers-only monthly phone planKT, the nation’s second-largest mobile carrier, introduced a service plan on Thursday exclusively for soldiers, the first such plan offered in Korea.
Dubbed the “Olleh Narasarang plan” - narasarang means “love of country” - the monthly fee for soldiers is set at 16,390 won ($14). The same service for ordinary consumers would cost 40,000 won.
The service includes 200 minutes of free calls and 300 text messages along with 200 megabytes of data for Internet use. If not used, the data is carried over, though only for a maximum of 25 months. All services will be provided under the soldiers’ existing phone numbers.
KT is the operator of all landline phones in the military, and it plans
to incorporate landline and mobile services.
For texting and checking unanswered calls, soldiers can log in at the Olleh homepage (mil.olleh.com). For making calls on landlines, they can use a “Narasarang card” distributed to every Korean soldier for verification of their numbers.
Currently, only officers are allowed to have access to their personal mobile phones. Although the regulations differ for each base, lower ranking soldiers in general are allowed to own a smartphone but are prohibited from using it on a military base.
The plan is available only for existing KT customers doing their compulsory military duty, or soldiers who switch from another carrier. KT chief marketing director Kang Guk-heon said the company expects to boost military morale by relieving communications difficulties.
LG U+ proposed last month to provide 44,686 incoming-calls-only mobile phones to the army for free in cooperation with the Ministry of National Defense.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [email@example.com]