|Headquarters||United Arab Emirates|
|Key people||CEO Samer Halawi|
||This section appears to be written like an advertisement. (July 2012)|
Thuraya (Arabic: الثريا, pronounced [aθːuˈrajːa]), from the Arabic name Thurayya meaning Star, is an international mobile satellite services provider based in the United Arab Emirates. The company claims to operate in more than 140 countries across Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia. As of July 12,2012, Thuraya extended its reach by partnering with T-Mobile USA to provide roaming services in the United States.
Established in 1997, Thuraya’s satellites enable two-thirds of the globe’s population to communicate in areas unserved by terrestrial networks. The organization provides data and voice satellite communications solutions in remote locations for the energy, media, government, NGO and maritime sectors
They have sold in excess of 600,000 satellite handheld phones since launching in 2001. Thuraya offers the only dual mode satellite phone, the Thuraya XT-DUAL, a handset that features both GSM and satellite capabilities. In addition, Thuraya provides the Thuraya IP data modem, a secure and rapidly deployable satellite broadband solution offering connection speeds up to 444 kbit/s standard IP.
The company is based in the United Arab Emirates and distributes its products and service through authorized service providers. Its shareholders consist of investment companies, Middle Eastern and North African telcos in which Etisalat is a major one.
- Voice communications with satellite phones (Thuraya XT-DUAL, Thuraya XT, Thuraya SO-2510 (discontinued), Thuraya SG-2520 (discontinued), Hughes 7100 (discontinued), 7101 (discontinued) and Ascom 21 (discontinued)) or fixed terminals
- Short message service
- 9.6 kbit/s of data & fax service
- 60 kbit/s downlink and 15 kbit/s uplink "GMPRS" mobile data service on Thuraya satellite phones
- 144 kbit/s high-speed data transfer via a notebook-sized terminal (ThurayaDSL)
- GPS is supported by all handsets
- A number of value-added services, such as news, call back, call waiting, missed calls, voicemail, WAP, etc.
- A one-way 'high power alert' capability that notifies users of an incoming call, when the signal path to the satellite is obstructed (e.g. inside a building)
- Marine Services: a combination of a special (fixed) base station and subscription offering voice, fax, data and always on internet-access. Also an emergency service which, when activated, sends multiple SMS messages containing alarm-status and actual position to pre-defined destinations
Subscriber equipment 
Thuraya offers a range of products sold under their own brandname. Besides these products some 3rd party developers offer complete systems and accessories for their products.
Most Thuraya handsets  (except Thuraya SO-2510 and Thuraya XT) have a dual-mode feature that allows them to operate in the Thuraya satellite network and GSM terrestrial mobile networks. Thuraya has concluded roaming agreements with over 300 wireless (cellular) operators around the world, providing its customers the ability of using their Thuraya phones with standard GSM SIM cards. Thuraya customers in the region can now make and receive calls, and also send and receive text messages (SMS).
Roaming for outgoing calls is only available for postpaid subscribers. For pre-pay (scratchcard) users of Thuraya roaming is only available for receiving incoming calls.
First Generation 
The Thuraya service was initially provided on Hughes 7100, 7101 and Ascom 21 handsets. These have been discontinued.
Second generation 
The satellite-only Thuraya SO-2510 was released in November 2006. It has a colour screen and is claimed to be the smallest and lightest satellite phone in the world and uses the VxWorks operating system. The Thuraya SG-2520 was released in early 2007, this is a dual-mode handset that also connects to GSM/GPRS services and is based on Windows CE and made by Apsat in South Korea. The device is slightly bigger than the Thuraya SO-2510 but it also has a camera, GPS and support for SD Cards. The operating system is a rather customized version of Windows CE and is not at all like Windows Mobile. It has support for running Java ME applications only. These have been discontinued.
Third generation 
The satellite-only Thuraya XT was released in August 2009. It has a colour screen and is claimed to be the toughest satellite phone in the world at the time of the launch. The new IP54-rated rugged model is dust, shock and splash-water proof and offers GSM-like options like phone-calls, SMS / text services and internet access.
The Thuraya XT-DUAL is a dual-mode satellite phone that works in satellite and GSM modes. This was released in March 2012.
Docking station 
For the Thuraya satellite phones there are different docking-stations available. These docking stations change a handset into a fixed terminal for indoor use or vehicle use, using external antennas for communication and GPS.
Modems and transceiver modules 
Thuraya has also launched "Thuraya Module", a small (70x50x20 mm) unit designed for integration into other devices. This provides USB and digital audio interfaces and runs on VxWorks OS. Previously, third-party hardware developers used to remove electronics from handsets and integrate it into their hardware.
For data-only an A5-sized terminal is available providing an always on TCP/IP connection to internet via an Ethernet interface with a PC at speeds up to 444 kbit/s. Thuraya offers the Thuraya IP and the Thuraya DSL. The IP offers an always on internet access and the DSL offers general packet data GPRS services.
An analog telephony adapter for the Thuraya network also exists.
Other devices 
Besides the above satellite phones and modules some special purpose fixed devices are developed. A pay phone using chip-cards and Public Calling Office phones to offer public telephone services in areas without other communication services (e.g. disaster areas).
In spring 2008 Thuraya introduced Thuraya Marine: a combination of a fixed telephone unit and special contract. On the central unit a POTS phone, a fax and PC can be connected. The unit also has an emergency-button (and interface for remote switch) that will send several SMS messages to user defined destinations informing the receiver about the position of the craft.
Repeaters similar to the cellular repeaters used on terrestrial networks are available for the Thuraya network. These units also amplify the satellite and the GPS signal, allowing satellite phones to work indoors. The smallest consumerised repeater will only support one handset at a time while the larger and more expensive repeater supports up to 10 simultaneously.
Technical details of the network 
Virtual country code 
Thuraya's country calling code is +882 16, which is part of the ITU-T International Networks numbering group. Thuraya is not part of the +881 country calling code numbering group as this is allocated by ITU-T for networks in the Global Mobile Satellite System, of which Thuraya is not a part, being a regional rather than a global system.
Air interface 
Transceivers communicate directly with the satellites using an antenna of roughly the same length as the handset and have a maximum output power of 2 Watts. QPSK modulation is used for the air interface. Thuraya SIM cards will work in regular GSM telephones and ordinary GSM SIM cards can be used on the satellite network as long as the GSM provider has a roaming agreement with Thuraya. As with all geosynchronous voice services a noticeable lag is present while making a call.
Due to the relatively high gain of the antennas contained within handsets, it is necessary to roughly aim the antenna at the satellite. As the handsets contain a GPS receiver it is possible to program the ground position of the satellites as waypoints to assist with aiming.
Use of GPS 
Every Thuraya phone and standalone transceiver unit is fitted with a GPS receiver and transmits its location to the Thuraya gateway periodically. The built-in GPS capability can be used for waypoint navigation.
- 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 kg. The 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 reflector, 128 element L-band antenna. These antennas support up to 200 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.
See also 
- Broadband Global Area Network
- GEO-Mobile Radio Interface
- SkyWave Mobile Communications
- "Thuraya coverage map". Thuraya.
- Consulate General of India retrieved 15 Jan 2013.
- India cracks down on Thuraya Satphones published 03 May 2010.
- Updated equipment information from the Thuraya  webpage. Visited on 24 July 2012
- Company website describing all  visited 24 July 2012
- Asia Pacific Satellite Industry Co., Ltd[dead link]
- Thuraya XT details on  company website, visited 24 July 2012
- Thuraya, XT-DUAL. "Thuraya XT-DUAL". Thuraya Telecommunications Company. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- Information about Thuraya Marine on company website, visited 24 July 2012
- "XSAT USA plays role in recent K2 mountain rescue". Xsatusa.com. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- "Electronic Weapons". Strategypage.com. 2003-04-24. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- "Thuraya 1". NSSDC.
- "Thuraya-1 Complete System for Mobile Communications". Boeing.
- TBS info on Thuraya 1, visited on July 12, 2008
- "Thuraya 2". NSSDC.
- "Sea Launch Past Launches Thuraya-2". Boeing.
- Thuraya 2 and 3 info on Boeing website
- "Current Mission: Thuraya-3". Sea Launch.
- "Sea Launch Continues Thuraya-3 Mission". SeaLaunch.
- "Sea Launch Delivers Thuraya-3 Satellite to Orbit". Sea Launch.