Press Release Summary:
Comprised of prepaid calling card that can be used on all Inmarsat/Iridium terminals and reloaded online, ChatCard(TM) provides flexible means for shipping companies to enable crewmembers to stay in touch with those left on land via voice, email, and SMS. Value-added service, ChatCard Data, enables crewmembers to expand use of prepaid ChatCard to include Internet access. It also lets ship managers control Internet costs of their FleetBroadband satellite communications service.
Original Press Release:
Stratos Expands its ChatCard Crew Calling Feature to Include Pre-Paid Internet Access
-New value-added service helps ship managers recruit and retain seafarers with FleetBroadband from Stratos-
BETHESDA, MD, June 2 -- Stratos Global Corporation, the leading global provider of advanced mobile and fixed-site remote communications solutions, today introduced ChatCard Data, a major enhancement to its popular ChatCard maritime crew calling feature.
ChatCard Data enables crewmembers to expand the use of their prepaid ChatCard to include Internet access. It also allows ship managers to manage and control the Internet costs of their new FleetBroadband satellite communications service. With the new ChatCard Data feature, all crew Internet-access costs are separated from the ship's business-communication costs and charged to the crew with the prepaid ChatCard.
The Stratos ChatCard(TM) was introduced in 2006 as a flexible and affordable way for shipping companies to enable crewmembers to stay in touch via voice, email and SMS with family and friends while at sea. A prepaid calling card that can easily be reloaded online, ChatCard can be used on all Inmarsat and Iridium terminals, including FleetBroadband.
With the addition of ChatCard Data, crewmembers can use their FleetBroadband Internet connection for instant messaging (MSN, Skype Chat) or web browsing and have the usage in megabytes deducted from their ChatCard allowance. Crewmembers can use their credit cards to load their prepaid ChatCards, thus minimizing the ship manager's administrative responsibility.
ChatCard Data will be available worldwide on FleetBroadband from Stratos later this month. ChatCard Data is expected to be available worldwide on BGAN later this year. Stratos is the largest supplier of mobile satellite services to the maritime industry, with communications to more than 40,000 maritime terminals worldwide.
Stratos Maritime Marketing Manager Michiel Meijer said there has recently been a dramatic increase in the importance that ship managers assign to the quality of communications systems they offer to crewmembers. He said one of the most effective ways to improve shipboard life for seafarers is to provide advanced voice and communications systems that are powerful, economical, easy to use, and available away from the bridge.
"With the new ChatCard Data pre-paid Internet feature, ship managers can offer crewmembers pre-paid voice, email, SMS and Internet on the same FleetBroadband terminal with one single ChatCard. Both business and crew traffic can now be managed on one FleetBroadband terminal simultaneously, and the costs will be kept completely separate," Meijer said.
He continued, "The addition of ChatCard Data makes the Stratos ChatCard the most versatile calling card in the mobile satellite world. It further demonstrates our commitment to provide ship managers with innovative crew-communications solutions, to support the recruitment and retention of well-trained seafarers."
ChatCard Data is the latest addition to The Stratos Advantage portfolio of value-added services. To differentiate FleetBroadband from Stratos from competing offerings, Stratos incorporates The Stratos Advantage into each total customer solution. These field-tested services give ship managers the confidence that they will attain the highest possible performance and support from FleetBroadband, at the lowest possible cost.
The Stratos Advantage services provide cost and traffic control, firewall management, data optimization, high security options, easy VPN access, messaging services and full IP range. The Stratos Advantage services include Stratos Dashboard(TM), Stratos Trench(TM) firewall and AmosConnect(TM) messaging for business and crew.
Stratos is the world's trusted leader for vital communications. With more than a century of service, Stratos offers the most powerful and extensive portfolio of remote communications solutions including mobile and fixed satellite and microwave services. More than 20,000 customers use Stratos products and industry-leading value-added services to optimize communications performance. Stratos serves U.S. and international government, military, first responder, NGO, oil and gas, industrial, maritime, aeronautical, enterprise, and media users on seven continents and across the world's oceans. For more information visit www.stratosglobal.com.