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MTN launches calling app for crew

MTN Communications has launched OceanPhone Mobile, a calling and messaging app for maritime crews which leverages the Wi-Fi infrastructure on vessels, as well as its own network.

OceanPhone Mobile is an extension of MTN’s OceanPhone calling solution for crew, but the app runs independently of other subscribed services. The Florida-based satcom provider says that it allows crew members to use their own smartphones and tablets to keep in touch with their loved ones.

Crew can download the application for free from the Apple or Google Play app stores, then purchase an OceanPhone Mobile plan on board their vessel. Family members and friends at home can do the same, and purchase their plans online. 

MTN says that this lowers the price for calling, especially for app-to-app calls or messages to others who have OceanPhone Mobile on the same ship, other ships, and family and friends on shore who also have OceanPhone Mobile. All pricing plans include free text messaging.

“Extending our OceanPhone product, which is already on 96 vessels around the world, to a mobile app was a natural evolution,” said Chris Leber, executive vice president, commercial business development, MTN.

“Our goal for this product was to allow crew to be able to use their own devices to make and receive calls, no matter the market. But we also had to take into account the family and friends back home and on other vessels. With our MTN network, managing calls ‘on-Net’ allows us to offer the crew great calling plans, as well as a cost-effective solution to family and friends to keep in touch.”   

MTN says that OceanPhone Mobile is also an alternative for corporate calling from vessel-to-vessel or even to-and-from headquarters, as long as there is a Wi-Fi network on the vessel.

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