GSM Oceanwide is the first service to use Inmarsat satellites to offer GSM services to seafarers onboard merchant ships in deep ocean waters using their existing mobile phones, exactly as they would in port or on land.
Stratos says that the system, available worldwide, is ideally suited as a crew-calling solution, enabling users to receive and place calls and send SMS messages via their own GSM number. The service also provides reliable voice connectivity, enabling ship managers to quickly contact merchant maritime officers.
Over the past year, Stratos completed a successful trial program of GSM Oceanwide onboard two large container vessels managed by its customers. In the future, the company also expects to expand the capabilities of GSM Oceanwide to include e-mail and web browsing.
The service uses an onboard pico cell, gateway and two Inmarsat F33 terminals. The JRC F33 terminals can be upgraded to the new Inmarsat FleetBroadband terminal through the replacement of the below deck unit, without modification of the antenna. BOW says it will deploy the hardware infrastructure on the customers' vessels for a monthly fee, without the need for upfront capital expenditure.
"We expect that GSM Oceanwide will receive an enthusiastic response from the 1.2 million seafarers worldwide," said Stratos president and CEO Jim Parm.
"We expect ship owners and ship managers will derive great benefit from this flexible new service, which is available without a large upfront cost. For a low monthly fee, GSM Oceanwide provides a valuable tool that can help expedite official business communications and also serve as crew-communications solution to help recruit and retain qualified seafarers."
More information about the service is available at www.stratosglobal.com/gsmoceanwide.