Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信), the largest mobile phone service provider in Taiwan, has launched a discount program allowing 019 service subscribers to place telephone calls at a rate of NT$1 per minute to Sichuan Province, China, which was rocked by a 7.9-magnitude earthquake last Monday.
Subscribers calling long distance from landlines with the 019 prefix to Sichuan can benefit from the reduced rates through all time slots until the end of this month without a cap on call duration, said Wu Chi-hsiung (吳奇雄), an executive of the company’s Taoyuan Operation Center.
Even though more than 700 Taiwanese tourists stranded in the quake-stricken province returned home aboard four chartered humanitarian direct flights on Saturday, there are still many others stranded there, Wu said.
Chunghwa decided to cut rates for calls to the area to allow Taiwanese and Sichuan spouses of Taiwanese nationals to establish contact with their relatives and friends in the quake-hit area at a lower cost during the rescue period, Wu said.
The company has provided 100 Inmarsat satellite phones, Wu said.