Thuraya satellite network

Thuraya, the Arabic name of the Pleiades, is a regional satellite phone provider. Its coverage area is most of Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia. The company is based in the United Arab Emirates and distributes its products and service through authorized service providers. Its shareholders are a mixture of Middle Eastern and North African telcos (in which Etisalat is a major one) and investment companies.

A characteristic from Thuraya is that the illuminating range of the geosynchronous satellites is divided into several Spot Beams. The allocation to the correct Spot Beam takes place on the basis of the GPS position of the telephone. On a transmitting power-strong " Sat Alert" - Channel the telephone is first alarmed with a detailed call, which induces itself users then into a zone with clear view to the satellite (in Europe mostly after southeast). Now the telephone recesses itself on that assigned Spot Beam, frequency and time plumb bob according to the GPS position. The cover zones can be shifted by changes of the Spot Beam configuration. Thus became after the start-up of Thuraya 2, which covers parts of Asia, which cover zone in Africa improves by reconficuration of the Spot Beams on Thuraya 1.

The Thuraya satellites are positioned on an geosynchronous orbit about 36,000 km over the equator. The satellites were manufactured by Boeing (Hughes) and rank with a takeoff weight of more than 5.1 tons among the heaviest communication satellites world-wide. They were started with Zenit-3SL (Sea Launch) rockets. The antenna has a diameter of 12 meters. By the size of the antenna and a strong transmitting power as well as a high receiver sensitivity the mobile phones can be relatively small. A directional antenna with small opening angle as in the Inmarsat net is not necessary. The antenna must be only aligned toward the satellite.

Due to the satellites are not on a geostationary, but on an geosynchronous course around the earth their apparent location in the sky is not firm and vary easy in the course of the daily.

Calls from Thuraya satellite telephone to Thuraya satellite telephone goes directly over the satellite and didn't "touch" the ground on the way. Only calls from the fixed network to the Thuraya satellite telephone or vice versa goes over the ground station in Sharjah.

Thuraya's country calling code is +882 16, which is part of the ITU-T International Networks numbering group.

The advantage of the Thuraya satellite mobiles is in fact that they work also in the normal GSM network (900 MHz with older and/or 900/1800/1900 MHz with newer devices).

Additionally Thuraya mobile phones have a GPS receiver, with whom the position can be determined exactly.

Thuraya Coverage

In the following countries Thuraya can be used (origin: Thuraya):

Afghanistan - Albania - Algeria - Andorra - Angola - Armenia - Australia - Austria - Azerbaijan
Bahrain - Bangladesh - Belarus - Belgium - Benin - Bhutan - Bosnia Herzegovina - Bulgaria - Burkina Faso - Burundi
Cambodia - Cameroon - Central African Republic - Chad - China - Congo - Croatia - Cyprus - Czech Republic
DR Congo - Denmark - Djibouti - DPR of Korea
East China Sea (Dong Hai) - East Timor - Egypt - Equatorial Guinea - Eritrea - Estonia - Ethiopia
France - Finland
Gabon - Gambia - Georgia - Germany - Ghana - Gibraltar - Greece - Guam - Guernsey - Guinea - Guinea Bissau
India - Indonesia - Iran - Iraq - Ireland - Isle of Man - Italy - Ivory Coast
Japan - Jersey - Jordan
Kenya - Kazakhstan - Kuwait - Kyrghyzstan
Laos - Latvia - Lebanon - Liberia - Libya - Liechtenstein - Lithuania - Luxembourg
Macedonia - Malawi - Malaysia - Maldives - Mali - Malta - Mauritania - Moldova - Monaco - Montenegro - Morocco - Myanmar
Nepal - Netherlands - Niger - Nigeria - Norway
Pakistan - Palestine - Papa New Guinea - Philippines - Poland - Portugal
Republic of Korea - Romania - Rwanda - Russia
San Marino - Saudi Arabia - Senegal - Serbia - Seychelles - Sierra Leone - Singapore - Slovakia - Slovenia - Somalia - Spain -Sri Lanka - Sudan - Sweden - Switzerland - Syria
Taiwan - Tajikistan - Tanzania -Thailand -  Togo - Tunisia - Turkey - Turkmenistan
Uganda - Ukraine - United Arab Emirates - United Kingdom - Uzbekistan


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