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Thuraya Industry Satellite communication Founded 1997 Headquarters United Arab Emirates  UAE Website Thuraya (Arabic: الثريا‎, pronounced [aθːuˈrajːa]), 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.[1] 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. The current number of subscribers is around 250,000 (March 2006). Some 360,000 Thuraya handsets have been put in service since launch in 2001. The subscriber growth has apparently slowed down during the last year, but Thuraya still made a net profit of US$ 80 million on revenues of US$ 323 million in 2005 (compared to just US$ 26 million profit in 2004). Contents 1 Services 2 Subscriber equipment 2.1 Handsets 2.1.1 First Generation 2.1.2 Second generation 2.1.3 Docking station 2.2 Modems and transceiver modules 2.3 Other devices 3 Technical details of the network 3.1 Virtual country code 3.2 Air interface 3.3 Use of GPS 3.4 Satellites 4 See also 5 References 6 External links Services SIM card for Thuraya satellite phone Voice communications with hand held (Thuraya XT, SO-2510 (discontinued), SG-2520 (discontinued), Hughes 7100 (discontinued) / 7101 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 XT, SO and SG handsets 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.[2] Handsets A Thuraya SO-2510 Most Thuraya handsets [3] (except for the Thuraya SO-2510 and 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 200 wireless (cellular) operators around the world, providing its customers the ability of using their Thuraya phones outside the satellite coverage. The dual-mode feature of the handset is similar to the Telit (GSM/Satellite) and Qualcomm (CDMA/Satellite) handsets on the Globalstar system. Roaming for outgoing calls is only available for 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.[4] 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. In 2009 a new IP54-rated rugged model came on the market the Thuraya XT. This handset is dust, shock and splash-water proof and offers GSM-like options like phone-calls, SMS / text services and internet access.[5] Docking station For the Thuraya SO-2510 and Thuraya SG-2520, a docking-station is available: the FDU 3500 indoor enabler. This docking station changes a handset into a fixed terminal for indoor use, using external antennas for communication and GPS. Calls can be made using the horn of the FDU or via a standard POTS telephone connected to the FDU. You can also connect a group 3 fax and a PC (via USB or COM: serial interface) to the FDU. A similar device exists for the first generation of Thuraya handsets. 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 handsets 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 (eg. 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.[6] Repeaters similar to the cellular repeaters used on terrestrial networks are available for the Thuraya network. These units also amplify the GPS signal, allowing ordinary GPS receivers to work indoors. The smallest consumerised repeater will only support one handset at a time while the larger and more expensive repeater supports 10. 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.[7][8] This location can then be used to enforce regional restrictions on plans such as the Eco-SIM. Satellites A Thuraya phone used in Algeria, 2004 Thuraya 2 and a second nearby geostationary satellite, photographed on 8 Dec 2010 from the Netherlands Thuraya operates three communications satellites built by Boeing Thuraya 1 The first satellite, named Thuraya 1, has deficient solar panels and cannot operate properly, this satellite is currently positioned above Korea for testing purposes. It was launched on 2000-10-21 by SeaLaunch on a Zenit 3SL rocket.[9] At launch it weighed 5250 kg.[10] 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.[11] Thuraya 2 Thuraya 2 was launched by SeaLaunch on 2003-06-10.[12] It is located in geosynchronous orbit at 44 deg-E longitude, inclined at 6.3 degrees.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] The launch vessels set out from port again on 2008-01-02, and launch occurred successfully at 11:49 GMT on 2008-01-15.[16][17] 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 Globalstar Inmarsat Iridium O3b SkyTerra SkyWave Mobile Communications References ^ "Thuraya coverage map". Thuraya.  ^ Updated equipment information from the Thuraya products webpage. Visited on 19 August 2009 ^ Company website describing all Thuraya Products visited 12 July 2008 ^ Asia Pacific Satellite Industry Co., Ltd ^ Thuraya XP details on Thuraya company website, visited 19 August 2009 ^ Information about Thuraya Marine on company website, visited 22 July 2008 ^ XSAT USA plays role in recent K2 mountain rescue ^ Electronic Weapons ^ "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.  External links Thuraya Website Thuraya coverage in Africa [1]