The first publicprivate partnership between a U.S. communications company and an Indonesian telecommunications operator will use mobile connectivity to improve the sustainability of small-scale and artisanal fisheries


Lombok, Indonesia (February 26, 2015) —  New York-based communications company Tone partners with Indonesian network provider XL to empower fishermen in Lombok with mobile broadband services and activation kits through a program titled mFish.

Tone is a mobile communications organization that works directly with network operators to market co-branded mobile content services. The U.S Department of State (DOS), represented by the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (GPI) share a common goal with Tone to build innovative solutions through mobile technologies that improve the lives of people.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who announced Tone’s partnership with the U.S Department of State at last year’s Ocean’s Conference, has backed their first initiative to develop the mFish mobile platform as part of a global climate change initiative.

Tone’s strategic alliance with GSMA, the global entity which represents nearly 800 operators, allows access to mobile networks around the world. With a model designed to have application across industries and corporate sectors, Tone helps both social initiatives and businesses provide individuals with access to information that is relevant to them.

Tone brings affordable mobile broadband to all involved in the fishery supply chain in Lombok. mFish leverages this connectivity to promote sustainable fishing practices, encourage efficiency and improve safety via various modules consolidated within the service.

Not only will MFish provide local fisherman with unlimited mobile access to critical trade-specific information such as weather conditions, location sharing services and maps, but it also aims to encourage sustainable fishing practices through educational content, guidelines and controls to reduce overfishing.

The platform is also designed to improve efficiency from a trade standpoint. Tone facilitates trade tools that link the fishermen with markets and real-time information on demand and pricing. Mobile money transactions are available through XL’s mobile wallet, allowing for seamless interchanges between the fishermen and buyers. The messaging function will create a safety network amongst fishermen at sea, and provide real-time reports of unregulated fishing.

Included in the 800 kits distributed for the trial, are an Android smartphone with the Tone application pre-installed, a 6-month mobile data plan and unlimited access to sector related content and services. Local NGO’s MDPI and LINI will monitor the use of the app.

This model will be rolled out across different social and business sectors and will allow content partners such as NGO’s or brands to reach previously underserved communities. 

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