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Smart looks to extend Thuraya partnership with crew internet services

Smart looks to extend Thuraya partnership with crew internet services
Philippines telecoms company Smart has partnered with Dubai’s Thuraya Telecommunications, for its crew calling services and now looking to role an internet service as well.

“Since our satellite is nearing the end of its life for business continuity we started to look out for a partner so we can migrate to a much newer satellite and that’s how we found Thuraya. Thuraya provided us with a much bigger coverage of two-thirds of the world and would say much better service quality,” said Tina Mariano, first vice president and group head, global access group for Smart.

With its new partner it launched the Marino Phonepal service, which is now on 1,200 vessels

The terminals for the service are provided free of charge and can be installed by seafarers in 15 to 20 minutes.

“We partner with the ship management companies and the manning companies in the Philippines. We’re willing to provide this free of charge to your seafarers the only thing we ask is they provide the initial $300 pre paid cards,” she explained.

Smart is now looking to extend its services with Thuraya to cover internet access.

“We actually testing the Thuraya Orion IP on six vessels, and if that proves to be successful we will deploy the Orion IP on most our vessels so seafarers will be able to enjoy surfing the internet as well. At the most affordable rates, you cannot do that with Inmarsat now,” Mariano said.

As with the voice calling service terminals will also be provided free of charge.