Universal Crew Calling is a solution available via Inmarsat delivering a cost-effective and morale boosting telephony service to crew working in the maritime sector. Universal Crew Calling can be easily integrated as a secure and simple extension to existing Inmarsat terminals for Inmarsat B, M, mini-M and Fleet F77 services. Inmarsat Fleet F77 — Inmarsat's latest addition to its maritime service portfolio, Fleet F77 offers an always on mobile packet data connection running at speeds up to 64kbit/s, along with an ISDN channel running at the same speed.
A voice capability is also built into Fleet F77, which is also compatible with the requirements of
the GMDSS. Web access, e-commerce, weather and chart updates are services available via Fleet F77 - with the addition of Crew Calling now being another option for ship operators. The Universal Crew Calling solution works through Inmarsat's fleet of geostationary satellites, providing near global coverage to seagoing ships. It is based on surface mount solid-state technology linked to a telephone working with pre-paid calling cards and usually located in crew recreation areas to provide greater levels of privacy. A dedicated autodialler and cable provides the link from the installation to existing Inmarsat satellite equipment deployed on a vessel. There are several forms of telephone that Universal Crew Calling can be equipped with, including desktop style handsets, through to phones housed in kiosks. Survey findings from Gilmour Research show that having ready access to a telephone service while at sea is a number one priority for mariners.
Universal Crew Calling gets round the problem of crew not being able to use cellular phones away from shore and also delivers a cost-effective and convenient service — housed on the ship itself.