Sailors could soon be able to call home from the middle of the ocean on an ordinary GSM mobile phone, thanks to a tie-up between Blue Ocean Wireless (BOW) and Inmarsat-reseller Stratos Comms. The companies have linked up with an as-yet unnamed GSM operator to put small GSM basestations, called picocells, onto merchant ships. …
Most of the cruise lines already have this service. Last year I used it from Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas. I only did text messaging, but they supported any GSM phone. I think the roaming rates were $5 a minute. It's called Cellular at Sea.
Sounds like it would be unfortunate to run out of prepaid minutes whilst at sea... Then again they would probably have web access and some method of recharging them online, I suppose.
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