The Curtain Lifts: Inmarsat Opens Up Prepaid Service to US Customers

Perhaps Noah felt this way when the rains stopped and dry land began to appear. A mixture of ‘Thank goodness’ with ‘It’s about darn time!’  Who knows what or how much it took to break the long-standing impasse with Freedom Wireless over access to the prepaid platform. Regardless, Monday’s announcement from Inmarsat that effective September 1 prepaid airtime plans can be used in the US, its territories and coastal waters came as welcome news.

With the announcement, ISatPhone, BGAN, FleetPhone and Fleet Broadband customers can now benefit from the prepaid plans that have heretofore been off-limits in the US. For IsatPhone customers, prepaid plans can offer lower airtime rates without the overhead of a monthly service fee. Instead, money spent on airtime is used just for that.

Prepaid BGAN plans enjoy not only a low airtime cost but also 2 year validities on most such plans.  This means that customers have two years to use the airtime associated with their prepaid plan.

For the Fleet Broadband customer, the news is noteworthy because it makes accessible to US customers the 60, 100 and 200 unit prepaid Small Vessel Plans (SVP). Although the units linked to these plans only carry 60 day validities and a bandwidth cap of 32 kbaud, the cost per MB to the end-user is half of that associated with most other low volume Fleet Broadband plans, including the SVP’s postpaid sibling.

Disaster management, trip-oriented IsatPhone users and fishing operations working in short-term seasons are just some of the user groups which stand to benefit the most from these newly available prepaid options.  Not to be neglected, however, are those global customers who can now extend the use of their prepaid Inmarsat airtime to their business and pleasure trips to the US. Effective September 1, the units owned by thesee users will automatically begin to work in the US and its territories. One phone, immediately available worldwide at the lowest possible airtime rates.

For further information on the newly available prepaid plans, Inmarsat, or other satellite solutions addressing your communication needs, contact OCENS at or 206.878.8270.

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