The satellite phones or Digital Satellite Phone Terminals (DSPTs) are being provided by the state-run BSNL after the Union Home Ministry made a request in this regard to the Telecom Ministry sometime back.

"The DSPTs or satellite phones will be given to troops deployed in areas where there is no mobile connectivity as there are no cell phone towers. Till the time these areas are brought under cell phone connectivity network, these phones will be with the security forces," a senior paramilitary officer said.

A maximum of 2,000 of these satellite phones have been provided to the forces deployed in the dense forests and border areas of North East states while close to 1,500 of these phones have been sanctioned for some of the worst Naxal-hit areas.

The Maoist violence affected states where these phones have been sent include Andhra Pradesh (183), Bihar (131), Odisha (872), Chhattisgarh (157), Maharashtra (34) and Jharkhand (108).

Some more satellite phones will be kept at battalion headquarters in these locations as reserves and they will be used when regular phones develop technical faults, the officer said.

A total of 290 such phones are also being provided to the lead anti-Naxal operations force CRPF which can be provided to its mobile columns moving into the 'non-cellphone' connectivity areas under emergency.


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