Thuraya offers cost-effective satellite-based mobile telephone services to nearly one third of the globe. Through its dynamic dual-mode satellite handsets and products, Thuraya enhances freedom of movement and connectivity.
Thuraya's US$1 billion regional mobile telecommunications via satellite (GMPCS) system helps meet the need for affordable, high-quality mobile phone services to urban hubs as well as remote communities.
Through partnership with leading national telecom and mobile communications companies, Thuraya provides blanket coverage to more than 110 countries in Europe, North, Central Africa and large parts of Southern Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia: a landmass inhabited by an estimated 2.3 billion people.
Subscribers can access Thuraya's mobile satellite system through service providers, who are either be national GSM network companies or local telecom operators. Thuraya in fact, complements national GSM networks, allowing subscribers to remain connected to their national mobile networks, and to access Thuraya's system whenever their preferred national network is out of reach.
Thuraya offers satellite, cellular (GSM) service and location determination system (GPS) in a single dual mode handset that is lightweight, elegant and easy to use. The dynamic handset offers voice, data, fax and short messaging services.
Thuraya was founded in the UAE in 1997 by a consortium of leading national telecommunications operators and international investment houses. The turnkey project was built by US satellite manufacturer Boeing Satellite Systems formerly Hughes.
The Thuraya-1 satellite was successfully launched on board a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket from the equator in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on 21st October 2000. The launch was a record success, as it was the first satellite initiated from the Middle East and also the satellite was the heaviest to be launched ever.
Thuraya's second satellite Thuraya 2 was launched on the 10th of June 2003. The Thuraya 2 satellite was deployed into geosynchronous transfer orbit by Sea Launch, which was also the launching vehicle for Thuraya's first satellite. Designed for a 12-15 year lifespan, the Thuraya 2 satellite is positioned in Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Earth, at 44 degrees East Longitude and inclined at 6.3 degrees.
A third satellite built by Boeing Satellite Systems is being readied to launch in the second half of year 2007. Thuraya's third satellite is expected to expand system capacity and coverage area.
The Primary Gateway in Sharjah, UAE, serves the entire Thuraya coverage area, and plans are underway to establish additional national gateways at other locations as necessary.
Thuraya's high degree of flexibility and convenience has changed the way people live and work; their day-to-day lifestyles and the manner in which they keep in touch with business associates and customers, families and friends.