[4 August 2014] Smart Satellite Services, the satellite arm of wireless services leader Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), has deployed Smart Marino PhonePal terminals to close to 2,000 active vessels since its launch in September 2013, indicating a brisk demand for reliable communication services for seafarers while at sea.
Smart Satellite Services, the satellite arm of wireless services leader Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), has deployed Smart Marino PhonePal terminals to close to 2,000 active vessels since its launch in September 2013, indicating a brisk demand for reliable communication services for seafarers while at sea.
“We welcome this growth for Smart Satellite Services, which indicates the appreciation for the latest satellite technology that allows Filipino seafarers to call their family at an affordable rate even while aboard their vessels,” said Charles A. Lim, Smart EVP and head of Wireless Consumer Business.
True maritime communication service
Equipped with an omni-directional antenna, Smart Marino PhonePal terminals offer better signal and wider coverage, which spans sea lanes across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East.
“Filipino seafarers used to wait for weeks for their ships to dock at the port just to have a decent conversation with their loved ones, but Smart Marino PhonePal changed that by bringing reliable communication even while they are sailing. It’s the only true maritime communication service available to Filipino seafarers in that sense,” said Tina Z. Mariano, Smart Global Access head.
Smart is able to deliver this wide and reliable satellite service because of its strategic deal with world-leading mobile satellite services provider Thuraya Telecommunications Company, whose coverage includes two-thirds of the world or around 140 countries and major sea lanes around the globe.
With Smart Marino PhonePal, seafarers are able to call their loved ones at an affordable rate of P18 per minute for Smart, Sun, and Talk ‘N Text subscribers, and P30 per minute for other mobile networks.
Means to combat loneliness, boost morale on the job
Many of our crew members are thankful for Smart Marino PhonePal, since it allows them to call their families when necessary. It helps them combat loneliness at work, as well as ease their worries for their loved ones,” said Carmen Rebusi, President of IMS Philippines Maritime Corp., one of the country’s leading manning agencies.
“With its wide coverage, Smart Marino PhonePal allows not only Filipinos but other nationalities as well - Koreans and Japanese - to communicate with people close to them, boosting their morale on the job,” she added.
“Smart Marino PhonePal has greatly helped our seafarers, giving them an affordable means to stay connected with their families. They just buy the call cards which they could readily use for the terminals, and they are all set,” said PLL Ship Management Corp. CEO and Gen. Manager Benjamin Servano Jr.
Smart Marino TextMate
Aside from Marino PhonePal, Smart also offers Marino TextMate in its suite of services for seafarers. This is a special SIM that allows seafarers and crew members to send to and receive text messages from the Philippines at very affordable rates, even when they are off-vessel on foreign ports, anchorages, or wherever there is GSM signal.
Using the special SIM, seafarers may send a text message to their loved ones for only PHP2 for Smart and Talk ‘N Text numbers, and PHP6 for other networks.
With the overwhelming response of the maritime industry to Marino PhonePal and Marino TextMate, Smart Satellite Services is casting a wider net to offer its suite of services to more Filipino seafarers sailing around the world.
There are nearly 400,000 Filipino seafarers deployed across the world according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
Smart is the only wireless communications service provider in the country that has the capability and experience to fully serve the needs of the maritime industry.
Since its launch of the Marino PhonePal, Smart has established partnership with over 100 top manning agencies, maritime organizations, schools, and training centers to promote its satellite services.