27 October 2014: Fishermen on board Chinese coastal fishing vessels can now keep in constant contact with friends, family and colleagues thanks to a brand new application developed exclusively for Inmarsat’s Fleet One service.
Created by Beijing Marine Communication and Navigation Co. (MCN Beijing), Inmarsat’s largest distribution partner in the People’s Republic of China, the bespoke chat application for fishermen is called 渔信通, or Fish Chat.
Fish Chat is the first Fleet One application for the Asian fishing market that has been tested and certified by Inmarsat.
“We are delighted that MCN Beijing has developed an application which is fit for purpose for the needs and requirements of the local market and optimises the Fleet One service for their customers,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime.
The application fits the particular communications requirements of crew on board Chinese coastal fishing vessels, providing texting and picture exchange capabilities, and push-to-talk voice services. The application is available for both Android and iOS devices, enabling fishermen to chat with their friends and family or colleagues using their own smartphones via WiFi.
“Fleet One has made access to voice and data services more accessible and affordable for small vessels. With the introduction of the Fish Chat application by MCN Beijing, Chinese coastal fishing vessels are better positioned than ever to make the most of this connectivity,” said Guy Sear, VP Business Development and Communications, Inmarsat Maritime.
Fleet One has been installed on fishing vessels globally since its launch in May, and feedback from captains and crews is very positive.
Cao Desheng, President of MCN Beijing, said: “We have been doing intensive research and evaluation in recent months on how Fleet One could be optimised for use by coastal fisheries.
“In the past, this market has been perceived as being on the low end for data communications and extremely price sensitive. To counter this and make it more appealing to the target customer, we designed a tailor-made and user-friendly application.
“We tried other pre-existing smartphone chat apps in the market, however all of them had difficulty with controlling background data volume. As a result we concluded that there was a distinct gap in the market that called for a unique application developed with the needs of these customers in mind.”
Chinese fisherman can order Fleet One plus Fish Chat now via MCN Beijing and its local distribution partners in fishery ports.