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Crew members of commercial ships encounter numerous difficulties in conducting the most basic communication, such as phoning and text messaging with their family and communities around the world. Affordable mobile phone service for the commercial maritime industry would greatly benefit both fleet operators and crews. The recent introduction of "Always On" mobile satellite services allows the installation of GSM base stations on board. However, the very high costs of bandwidth plus the use of firewalls and NATs means traditional "Mobile Network" solutions to provide GSM services are not economical for commercial ships. Solutions available for cruise ships do not appropriately scale down.
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