Inmarsat has announced changes to its FleetPhone airtime plans and pricing. The two FleetPhone models (Oceana 400 and Oceana 800) provide a fixed phone service where voice communications is the primary requirement or on vessels where additional voice lines are needed for crew or guests. The solution consists of below-decks equipment which is connected to a small external antenna.
Effective October 1st, 2012 Inmarsat will be closing new activations to the FleetPhone Standard, Allowance and SCAP plans. Users who have not already done so will be automatically moved to the Fleet Phone Small Vessel Plan (SVP) on January 1, 2013. The action collapses all FleetPhone users into either a SVP postpaid option of $120 per month with 200 minutes of included airtime or three SVP prepaid plans of 60 (79), 100 (131) and 200 (263) included units (minutes to PSTN). Prices for these prepaid bundles are $60, $100, and $200 and minutes purchased carry a 60 day validity. As with other Inmarsat systems, prepaid packages for the FleetPhones are not available for use in the United States or its territories.
In a new and puzzling wrinkle, Inmarsat automatically deducts 14 units from a subscriber’s prepaid balance each week if that amount or more is not used in the week. If a subscriber’s balance reaches zero, further usage is blocked until the account is ‘topped-up’. Inmarsat does allow a free phone call from the unit to request a top-up but as soon as the account is topped up, 14 units are again auto-deducted followed by the next applicable weekly charge of 14 units. Finally, if prepaid vouchers are purchased and activated as a batch, all vouchers in that batch must be redeemed within 365 days of batch activation or they will expire.
For further insights on the FleetPhone changes and other options available to address your needs for communication via satellite, please contact OCENS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.878.8270.