Inmarsat offers 50% voice call discounts to help yacht sector during Covid-19


Inmarsat is supporting the yachting sector during the Covid-19 crisis by offering 50% discount on voice-calling services. 

Satellite communications company Inmarsat is offering a 50% discount on voice-calling services, 24 hours a day, until the end of June to support the yachting sector during the global Covid-19 crisis.

The voice call discount applies from today (April 3rd) to Inmarsat retail customers using FleetBroadband and Fleet One ChatCard voice services. It also applies to wholesale partners offering FleetBroadband voice calls under the legacy Crew Calling ‘SQT’ brand.

Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime, said: “We recognise the unprecedented situation facing people at sea, as the global maritime industry responds to the challenges of Covid-19. We have been providing additional call time for ChatCard voice service users since February.

‘Critical for health and well-being’

“It has become clear that, above all other forms of contact, being able to talk to family, friends and colleagues is critical for the health and well-being of crew during these difficult times.”

The company also plans to accelerate the launch of ChatCard services for Fleet Xpress, with an introductory discount.

 “FleetBroadband retail customers are eligible immediately and, even if they currently don’t use the ChatCard service, they can sign up today to provide the offer direct to their crews and we will make the process as easy as possible,” added Spithout. “We are also rolling this through to wholesale partners via our Crew Calling, SQT service, and strongly recommend they pass on the full saving to crew.”

About 600,000 minutes every month

The 50% discount is available to all users of the ChatCard service, available via Inmarsat retail channels, which seafarers call upon for around 600,000 minutes every month, said Spithout. Tariffs for services through wholesale channels may vary because partners negotiate call termination costs separately with local networks, he added.

Although the launch of ChatCard services via Fleet Xpress was planned for later this year, efforts are being made to fast-track its introduction. The decision reflects Inmarsat’s determination that crew on Fleet Xpress-installed vessels, who can already get unlimited high-speed data services, are assured that high voice call use does not bring any additional financial burden, said Spithout.

Meanwhile, last month, Superyacht Investor reported science and technology entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg’s pledge to develop a home test kit for Covid-19 aboard his 55-metre superyacht, Gene Machine. The global pandemic has also forced the cancellation of leading yachting events.