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Thuraya satellite systeme

Thuraya is a regional mobile satellite phone provider. The company is based in the United Arab Emirates; it provides mobile coverage to more than 110 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia.

With about 350 roaming partners worldwide, Thuraya also offers GSM roaming services over land-based mobile GSM networks. As well, Thuraya sells a dual mode satellite phone with both GSM and satellite capabilities.

The company is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. Its shareholders consist of investment companies, Middle Eastern and North African telcos; Etisalat is a major shareholder.

Thuraya is an advanced geo-synchronous mobile satellite system providing access to Satellite and GSM services from the same Handset. It offers the facility for high quality voice, voice mail and SMS as standard, together with an in built GPS. Data/fax facilities are available through the optional data kit with speeds obtainable up to 9.6Kb/s (similar to Globalstar and faster than Iridium).


Thuraya's robust satellite network provides coverage in the most remote locations, ensuring congestion-free satellite communications to keep you connected at all times. From innovative satellite design to the reliability of each Thuraya device and accessory, we provide a truly superior satellite communication solution beyond the boundaries of terrestrial systems and cellular networks.

Thuraya has 2 satellites in geosynchronous orbit (Thuraya 2and Thuraya 3). The Thuraya 1 satellite originally launched for testing purposes, has now reached the end of it's life and remains in junk orbit above Korea.

Thuraya 1

The first satellite, named Thuraya 1, had deficient solar panels and could not operate properly; this satellite was positioned above Korea for testing purposes. It was launched on 2000-10-21 by SeaLaunch on a Zenit 3SL rocket. At launch it weighed 5250 kgThe satellite was used for testing and backup until May 2007, when it was moved to junk orbit and declared at its end of life.

Thuraya 2

Thuraya 2 was launched by SeaLaunch on 2003-06-10 It is located in geosynchronous orbit at 44 deg-E longitude, inclined at 6.3 degrees. The satellite can handle 13,750 simultaneous voice calls. This satellite currently serves most of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia. The craft had a weight of 3200 kg and an expected life of 12 years. The two solar-panel wings, each containing 5 panels, generate 11 KW electric power (at end of life). The craft has two antenna systems: a round C-band antenna, 1,27 meter in diameter and a 12 x 16 meter AstroMesh reflector, 128 element L-band antenna, supplied by Astro Aerospace in Carpenteria, CA. These antennas support up to 351 separate spot beams, each configurable to concentrate power where usage needs it

Thuraya 3

The third satellite was planned for launch by SeaLaunch in Q1 2007, and the start of Far East and Australia service was planned for 2007-10-15. The failure in January 2007 of the NSS-8 rocket led to a substantial delay in the launch of Thuraya-3, which was rescheduled for 2007-11-14, but the launch was postponed several times due to sea conditions. The launch vessels set out from port again on 2008-01-02, and launch occurred successfully at 11:49 GMT on 2008-01-15. The Thuraya 3 satellite is technically the same as Thuraya 2, but located in geosynchronous orbit at 98.5 deg-E longitude, inclined at 6.2 degrees.




With roaming agreements established in over 161 countries, Thuraya is able to provide reliable roaming services for our postpaid and prepaid customers onto more than 361 worldwide GSM networks. GSM subscribers from those networks can also insert their GSM SIM into a Thuraya handset to enjoy roaming services across Thuraya’s satellite network, in order for them to remain connected when they are out of GSM coverage, or when they are traveling and terrestrial roaming charges are steep.

Thuraya coverage zone

Coverage is not worldwide, and mainly covers Europe, North and Central Africa and across the Middle East through parts of Asia. The Thuraya 3 satellite was launched to cover far East Asia and Australia.