Vizada’s prepaid communications solution is first to work with multiple connectivity services
11 May 2011 – Vizada, the leading independent satellite communications provider, has launched its new Universal CardTM offer, the first prepaid communications solution to work with both mobile and fixed satellite terminals at sea. This includes Inmarsat and Iridium as well as Vizada’s new VSAT service Pharostar, launched end 2010.
Vizada’s Universal Card offers personnel onboard vessels a way of keeping in touch with friends and family by making voice calls, or utilizing the messaging tools and internet access independently. Crew members can make prepaid private calls, send prepaid emails, SMS messages and access the web, enabling ship managers to more easily control private communications costs.
“Universal Card is already a very popular option for crew members to keep in contact with friends and family onshore, and now that it can be used with VSAT, it is even more cost effective: end-users can make prepaid voice calls for as low as $0.35 per minute,” said Tilmann Michalke, Product Manager Crew Solutions, Vizada EMEA.
While VSAT technology provides cost effective satellite communications, many vessels are equipped with multiple connectivity services which serve as backup in the event that VSAT coverage isn’t available: “Most vessels equipped with VSAT have a back-up satphone. Universal Card is the first calling card to work with both connections. Having a prepaid card available via an Inmarsat FleetBroadband, Mini-M or an Iridium back-up terminal in conjunction to Pharostar is a huge improvement for vessels”, added Tilmann Michalke.
Vizada’s Universal Card can be used from virtually anywhere in the world to call fixed and mobile telephones. The solution can also be used via mobile satellite services such as Inmarsat and Iridium terminals to send and receive email and SMS with Vizada’s SkyFile Mail service, the most advanced emailing software for use with satellite terminals. Users can access and surf the web on a prepaid basis via FleetBroadband.
Universal Cards can be purchased through service providers or ship managers using Vizada’s internet portal, The Source®. Physical debit cards as well as virtual cards with confidential PIN codes are currently available for crew members. The dialing procedure and short access code remain the same regardless of the connectivity used.