Thuraya is a company that operates a satellite phone network that provides coverage in most parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Thuraya satellite phones are used by a wide range of people, including travelers, military personnel, emergency responders, and people in remote or offshore locations.

Thuraya satellite phones are designed to be portable and easy to use. They are typically about the same size and weight as a regular cell phone and can be carried in a pocket or a bag. Most Thuraya satellite phones have a color display and a keyboard for making calls and sending text messages. Some models also have features such as a GPS receiver, a compass, and a SOS button for emergency situations.

To use a Thuraya satellite phone, you need to have a clear view of the sky and be within the coverage area of the Thuraya satellite network. You can make calls and send text messages just like you would on a regular cell phone, using the phone's keypad or touchscreen. Thuraya satellite phones can also be used to access the Internet, although the speed and availability of the service may vary depending on your location and the type of satellite phone you are using.

Thuraya Satellite Phones

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A satellite communications company headquartered in the UAE. The name "Thuraya" comes from the Arabic word for "the Pleiades", which is the constellation of stars that are named after the seven daughters of the Titan god Atlas and the ocean nymph Pleione in Greek Mythology. The company operates two satellites on an L-band network, providing telecommunications coverage across 161 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and the rest of Oceania.

Thuraya, is a mobile satellite services subsidiary of the global satellite operator Yahsat. It is wholly owned by Mubadala Investments Company. Thuraya offers satellite connectivity solutions for broadband and broadcast, for government, commercial, and individual communication alike. So whether you're an avid explorer heading off on the expedition of a lifetime, an NGO volunteer traveling from one country to another, or a multi national looking for efficiencies in logistics and communication,  Thuraya has cutting edge solutions that help you stay connected.


Air interface

Transceivers communicate with the satellites using an antennas of roughly the same length as the handset and having a maxi­mum output power of 2 watts. QPSK modulation is employed for the air interface .Thuraya SIM cards can be used in regular GSM phones and ordinary GSM SIMs can be used on the Thuraya satellite network as long as their service providers have a roaming agreement with Thuraya. As with all geostationary voice services, a noticeable delay is present when making a phone call.

Because of the high gain of the antennas inside the handsets, it is often required to roughly aim the antenna toward the satellite. With the GPS receiver inside the satellite phone, it's possible to program the ground positions of the satellites as way points so they can be used to help aim. The service operates on L-band satellite carriers assigned in blocks to specific locations called spot beams. These are Thuraya equivalents of cells or service areas. Downlink (space to earth) communications operate at frequencies between 1.525 GHz and 1.559 GHz, while Uplink communications operate between 1.6265 and 1.6605GHz. Up- and down-links are 1087 paired carrier frequencies, on a raster at 31.25 kHz. A Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) time slot architecture is used which allocates a carrier in timeslots of a fixed length.


Thuraya Air Time Service

Europa Satellite offers both prepaid and monthly-billed postpaid service plans for Thuraya . Plans with voice minutes, SMS messages, and GmPRs internet bundles are also available for purchase. Thuraya IP broadband services are available in the form of one-month validity 30 GB voucher packages and Thuraya IP prepaid plans with unlimited usage for fixed monthly fees.


Understanding the Thuraya Coverage Map

The dark blue area on the Thuraya Coverage Map represents the primary coverage region of the Thuraya network. A list of covered countries is also available. There may be weaker coverage in the lighter blue areas.

Even in the primary coverag­e locations, coverage can be obstructed by nearby terrain features such as mountains or trees. To make phone calls, you need to have a direct line of site between yourself and the Thuraya satellite.

Europa Satellite recommends that Thuraya customers make sure they know how to make calls before leaving for a remote location. If you have a pre-paid Thuraya SIM card, make sure to know how to check the account balance and reload it.

With a GSM-cellular capable Thuraya phones like the Thuraya XT DUAL, there will be additional GSM cellular coverage in many countries. Regional operators will charge different rates and some advanced features of the Thuraya phone might not be supported by all GSM operators. As a general rule, GSM operators in third world countries will charge more for calls than the cost of Thuraya satellite-mode calls.


Features at a Glance

  • Voice communications with satellite phones or fixed terminals are readily available as well as SMS, short message service.
  • 15 kbit/s uplink and 60 kbit/s downlink speed with "GMPRS" mobile data service on Thuraya satellite phones
  • high-speed data transfer (444 kbit/s) via a notebook-sized terminal (ThurayaIP)
  • A number of other services, such as call waiting, missed calls, voicemail, etc.
  • A one-way "high-power alert" capability that notifies users of an incoming call, when the signal path to the satellite is obstructed. The geostationary nature of the service implies high round trip times from satellite to earth leading to a noticeable lag being present during voice calls.


Every Thuraya satellite phone and standalone transceiver has a built-in GPS receiver and sends its location to the Thuraya gateway periodically.

Built-in GPS capabilities can be used for navigational waypoints.

Selectable Navigation Systems

With XT-PRO you can choose your preferred navigational system and select between GPS (Global Positioning System), BeiDou (China's satellite positioning system) and Glonass (Russia's satellite positioning system) for pin point accuracy in each region.


Thuraya Handsets and Terminal Options

Thuraya offers a range of small high quality handsets. Docking stations with privacy handsets are available for indoor or vehicular applications as well as portable internet terminals for bandwidth on the go.

Thuraya XT-Pro Satellite Phone

The Thuraya XT-Pro may be the most advanced satellite phone on the planet. It's certainly the best on offer from Thuraya. With a generous100 hours of standby time and 10 hours of talk time, it's the battery life front runner in the satellite phone industry. Having such long standby and talk time means the Thuraya XT-Pro can be used whenever needed, even if you're nowhere near a charging station.

The XT-Pro is designed with a special durable housing and comes standard with hardened, glare resistant Gorilla® glass to meet the most challenging environments head on. The screen allows for greater visibility in the sun with an automatic brightness sensor to adjusts the backlight of your display. The phone is shock proof, as well as jet water and dust resistant. Making it robust enough for any condition.

The exceptional design of the Thuraya XT-Pro meets the even the strictest needs of people in the oil, gas, and mining industries, as well as those living in extreme remote environments.

Thuraya XT LITE Satellite Phone

The Thuraya XT LITE provides unmatched value with reliable satellite phone connectivity. Designed with the cost conscious user in mind, the Thuraya XT LITE provides you with the best priced satellite phone on the market with a clear and stable connection . Easy-to-use, the XT LITE allows you to make phone calls and send SMS messages in satellite mode, regardless of the location.

Thuraya – Satsleeve+

The Thuraya SatSleeve+ is the easiest way to turn your smartphone into a satellite smartphone. The satellite based SatSleeve is a universal adapter perfect for turning any Smartphone into a satellite phone, allowing the functionality of a Smartphone, even when there is no GSM coverage.

This is the ideal companion for busy travellers, explorers, adventurers, corporate users and NGO´s. The Thuraya SatSleeve+ is the best solution for those wanting to use their mobile phone where a terrestrial network is unavailable.

Thuraya X5 Touch Satellite Phone

The Thuraya X5-Touch is the newest Smartphone via Satellite with a 5.2 inch HD Screen. The X5 Touch as well as offering you connectivity in areas outside the reach of other land-based smartphones, also includes unique features not available with other satellite telephones such as:

Dual SIM slots, guaranteeing complete flexibility to simultaneously activate the satellite mode in one SIM and the GSM mode (2G, 3G, or 4G) in another.

The Thuraya X5-Touch makes use of a high capacity battery that guarantees approximately 11 hours in conversation time and 100 hours in standby mode. Also supplied with GPS, Glonass and BeiDou navigation and location systems and an SOS button for emergencies.

 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connections also included.

Thuraya XT Pro Dual

The Thuraya XT-Pro Dual was the first phone to incorporate dual SIM technology, to further strengthen the security and versitility offered by the company. With a standby time of 100 hours and a talk time of 11 hours, it's the longest offered by any satellite handset.

The XT-Pro Dual is resistant to shocks, splashes and sand making it a rugged model to ensure communications in every situation. Enjoy 2, 3, and 4G connections anywhere in the world thanks to GSM mode with the extra SIM. The XT-Pro Dual is a high-quality terminal designed and manufactured to satisfy the needs of professionals from various industries, including the business, energy, governmental, media, and non-governmental sectors.

Dual means two SIM cards communicate seamlessly in satellite and GSM mode: for complete choice and flexibility.

Thuraya IP+ Terminal

When mobility and connectivity can't be compromised, there is only one choice: Thuraya IP+. It's the lightest, fastest mobile satellite broadband terminal in its class, Thuraya IP+ can be up and running in a matter of seconds, providing reliable broadband access within any location covered by Thuraya's congestion-free satellite network. From backpack to broadband Thuraya IP+ has you covered.

Thuraya IP+ features:

  1. Small and lightweight
  2. High-speed streaming capabilities
  3. Optimized bandwidth
  4. Durable and reliable
  5. Blockage-free network


Thuraya IP Voyager!

IP Voyager is a highly reliable vehicle-mounted satellite terminal designed for a variety of mission-critical operations including border patrol, defense, disaster relief, and other applications where terrestrial networks are inadequate. The terminal enables users in remote locations to collaborate effectively and efficiently with their colleagues using video, data and VoIP to achieve critical tasks, where failure isn't an option.

The IP Voyager is designed to connect at IP broadband rates of up to 444kpbs while on the move. It is the only terminal capable to achieve streaming IP rates of up to 384kbps as well user defined asymmetric streaming. It has an integrated Wi-Fi access point (AP). There are four PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) ports that allow users to plug in multiple wired devices.


Why do people need satellite phones?

Satellite phones allow you to communicate anywhere there is no reliable land lines or cellular service. Satellites are not affected by natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., because they are in space and don’t rely on land-based infrastructure.

Should I rent or own a satellite phone?

If you need a satellite phone for more than six weeks a year, then purchasing a phone is probably your best bet. If you spend less than one month a year in regions without reliable landline or cellular coverage, we suggest a satellite phone rental.

If I buy multiple satellite phones can they share one SIM card?

No, if you want to use each satellite phone on its own, each one will need a SIM card. A satellite SIM card can be moved to another compatible phone, but to make calls, each satellite phone needs its own SIM card with an active monthly plan or prepaid airtime. Thuraya offers prepaid airtime options to fit any budget. If your Thuraya Prepaid SIM card expires, your airtime will be removed from the card but you will have a window to purchase a refill. Outside this window, you will need to purchase a new SIM card and also receive a new number at the time you activate the new card.

Which satellite phone accessories are worth owning?

It depends on how you intend to use your satellite device Always keep an extra battery handy. All satellite phone manufacturers offer compatible docks with an external antenna that enable the satellite phone or device be used indoors, in vehicles, boats or planes. You'll find a range of docking stations and related equipment for each model of phone at our website. If you want to talk to someone about your options, feel free to contact us.

Do I pay long distance or roaming charges with satellite phones?

There are no long distance or roaming charges with the Thuraya satellite network.



Thuraya Satellite Phone Coverage Map

Thuraya Coverage Map

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.

The Thuraya network does not cover north or south America.

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