US-based Tone and XL Axiata out to empower Indonesian fisherman

NEW York-based communications company Tone has partnered with Indonesian network provider XL Axiata Axis Capital Group to empower fishermen in Lombok, Indonesia with mobile broadband services and activation kits through a programme titled mFish.


Tone is a mobile communications organization that works directly with network operators to market co-branded mobile content services.


It said it 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 US State Department, represented by the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (GPI), shares a common goal with Tone to build innovative solutions through mobile technologies that improve the lives of people, the company said in a statement.


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


Tone’s strategic alliance with the GSM Association (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 said it helps both social initiatives and businesses provide individuals with access to information that is relevant to them.


The mFish 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 Axiata Axis Capital Group mobile wallet, allowing for seamless interchanges between the fishermen and buyers, Tone said.


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 six-month mobile data plan, and unlimited access to sector-related content and services. Local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) 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 NGOs or brands to reach previously underserved communities, Tone said.