France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications is extending its range of mobile satellite services by marketing Thuraya, a hand-held satellite telephone. Thuraya’s footprint covers 99 countries in the Indian sub-continent, Central Asia, Middle East, central and northern Africa and Europe.
France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications have been marketing Thuraya for the past year. The companies’ market share totals 22 percent. As a result of this success, France Telecom has decided to integrate Thuraya into its satellite services range, offering it to major clients in France and to its international distributor network.
Thuraya is the only mobile satellite service on the global market capable of providing voice, messaging, SMS and e-mail from a mobile the size of a GSM. It combines three systems: satellite, GPS and GSM. Once the user is no longer within GSM reach, the Thuraya handset automatically switches to satellite mode. Like a standard mobile telephone, the Thuraya terminal includes a SIM card, which gives access to the zone covered by the usual GSM operator.
Thuraya was founded in the United Arab Emirates in 1997 by a consortium of national telecommunications operators and international investment houses. The consortium was created to cater for the needs of businesses in the Middle East hindered by the lack of coverage in desert areas. Thuraya has a capital of $500 million and employs approximately 200 people. Boeing Satellite Systems is also a major stakeholder. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )