The Abu Dhabi-based Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company has authorized Boeing to launch the Thuraya-2 satellite in January 2003 and has contracted with Boeing Satellite Systems, the manufacturing arm of Boeing Space and Communications, to build Thuraya-3. Sea Launch will launch Thuraya-2, which is expected to join Thuraya-1 at an orbital slot 44 degrees East.
Thuraya-1, the first Boeing-built GEO-Mobile (GEM) model spacecraft, was launched by Sea Launch in October 2000. Thuraya-2 will be based on the same technology but will be enhanced by approximately 10 percent more electrical power over its predecessor, resulting in a longer lifespan for the satellite.
Since the start of service in 2001, the Thuraya system has logged more than 6.5 million phone call minutes and, to date, more than 65,000 handsets have been sold.
"Together with Hughes Network Systems, Boeing has delivered a $1 billion mobile satellite telephony system that serves about 106 nations populated by some 2.3 billion people," said Randy Brinkley, president of Boeing Satellite Systems.
Thuraya's dual-mode handheld phones integrate satellite, GSM and GPS, as well as provide services that include voice, data, fax and short messaging. The Thuraya network offers mobile satellite telecommunications services to more than 100 countries and has a footprint, encompassing Europe, North and Central Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.
Boeing Space and Communications (S&C), with headquarters in Seal Beach, is the world's largest space and communications company. A unit of the Boeing Company, S&C provides integrated solutions in launch services, human space flight and exploration and various other activities in information and communication technologies.
Boeing is NASA's largest contractor and a leading provider of space-based communications. In addition, Boeing has a 40 percent partnership stake in Sea Launch Co. LLC, heavy-lift launch service providers for the commercial satellite sector. From an ocean-based launch site on the equator, Sea Launch offers a direct route to geo-stationary orbit. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )