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Marine SIM cards now in over 1,000 ports

iVitta, which developed a Pay-As-You-Go global roaming SIM card for seafarers, has teamed up with G2 Crew Services to expand its distribution.

Launched in February 2011, iVittamobile was sold until now in less than 100 ports via Seamen's missions and Seafarer's charities. G2 Crew Services, the joint venture between Griffin and GAC, has a global footprint in over 1,000 ports worldwide.

iVitta has negotiated low rates for international calls and texts on the basis that its SIM is available exclusively to seafarers. iVittamobile SIM cards can be used on any unlocked handset which has 2G or 3G capability. They can connect to 650 GSM networks.

Phone services rely on the call back method. The user dials a destination number, placing a # at the end. Then the network calls back and connects them to the destination number.

To send a text message, the user needs to select the “send SMS” option in the Roaming SIM Menu/SIM Services of their cell phone. It usually costs 10 US cents to send a text, while incoming messages are free of charge.

"Web access on board vessels remains the exception rather than the rule and most crew rely on text messages and phone calls to stay in touch while away from home," said Simon Morse, executive chairman of Griffin.

"Currently their choice is to either carry a bag full of different SIMs each with a separate telephone number and credit balance or pay 'roaming charges' of up to $5 per minute ex Europe. iVittamobile offers a single SIM supported by 650 local carriers so crew can make that same call for as little as 9 cents per minute," he said.

Christer Sjödoff, group vice president, GAC Solutions, noted: "Our mission at G2 Crew & Husbandry Services is to provide logistical support to crew and ensure they reach their vessel or rig safely and on time. We understand how important it is for seafarers to remain in contact with their family and friends, which is why we are delighted to be able to join forces with iVitta to distribute their marine SIM cards and low cost top-up vouchers across our network of offices."

"Having tailored our product to meet the specific needs of the marine and offshore markets we identified G2 as our first choice to partner given their sector knowledge and unrivalled distribution channel," said Simon Black, CEO of iVitta.

Top-ups can be done using the phone, online, and now at G2 offices.

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