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Smart services for Filipino sailors

Telecoms company Smart in the Philippines has unveiled a range of services designed to help Filipino seafarers stay in touch with their loved ones through phone calls, text messages and via the internet.

Smart says that three services will soon be made available: Marino Phonepal, Marino Textmate, and Link Plus.

Marino Phonepal will allow seafarers sailing in Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia-Pacific to call their families in the Philippines while Marino Textmate will allow them to send text messages at what Smart says will be affordable rates.

Link Plus, an online application which will have both mobile and desktop versions, will enable users to make calls, send text messages, and access the internet.

Charles Lim, EVP and head, Wireless Consumer Business for Smart and Sun Cellular, notes that the products have a substantial target market with Filipinos making up one third of the global maritime workforce.

“As a testament of our support in promoting their well-being, we are happy to launch Smart Satellite Services, by which a complete array of mobile services like voice calls, text, and online applications for smartphones and personal computers will be made available for Filipino workers on deck,” said Mr Lim.

Capt Ronald Enrile, vice president for Operations at Philippine Transmarine Carriers, also commented that “most of our Filipino seafarers spend around 20 to 30 per cent of their earnings in communication. Calling their loved ones using a satellite phone, for example, is still expensive.”

“With the new service of Smart, not only does it offer wider coverage but it is tailor-fit to Filipino seafarers’ budget as well. I believe our seafarers would love it.”

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