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Covering 81 countries Thuraya introduces new rates, competitive to GSM, to fuel interest in satellit

Posted on
Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Industry Sector

United Arab Emirates

Press Release Content

Embarking on a new plan to make satellite phones more attractive to the common people, Thuraya is re-launching its mobile satellite services with new low rates that are up to 70% cheaper than currently applied in 81 African, Asian and European countries around the world.

Branded as "ThurayaECO" to reflect its economical appeal, the new prepaid service has been designed to offer handheld satellite phone users in those countries a competitive, terrestrial-like price for a premium satellite service that provides an uninterrupted, blanket coverage not only in urban centres but also in remote and rural areas under Thuraya's footprint.

The new service, which is available in the 81 countries, will make major savings for telecom customers in the target markets. Compared to Thuraya's mainstream prepaid service, prices of ThurayaECO will be almost 70% cheaper for calls from Thuraya to Thuraya users and up to 55% lower for national calls (calls from Thuraya to any phone number within the same country). And for the international direct dialling (IDD) calls, prices will be up to 50% cheaper than those available in national markets, depending on the various destinations.

Under this innovative service, Thuraya-to-Thuraya calls will be charged at US$ 0.20 per minute, while both national and international calls from a Thuraya phone will be charged equally at the same low rate of US$ 0.39 per minute to any destination.

"As the leading regional mobile satellite operator covering an overwhelming majority of developing countries, we feel commitment and social responsibility towards enabling our communities and making access to modern telecom services within their reach," says Thuraya's CEO Mr. Yousuf Al Sayed.

"With this corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy in mind, and to ensure that Thuraya services are made affordable to the widest segments possible in developing countries, we have introduced a new SIM card that costs only US$ 5, compared to the existing US$ 99 SIM card denomination," added Thuraya's CEO.

Mr. Al Sayed reiterated that Thuraya, which has the world's largest subscriber base for satellite handheld services, is set to redefine satellite telecom offerings in its regional markets. "With ThurayaECO rate of US$ 0.20 per minute, a one-year valid SIM card that costs only US$ 5, and a vibrant full-featured 2nd generation mobile satellite phone that is identical to GSM in size and sleekness, Thuraya is galvanising demand on satellite phone service and transforming it from a niche product for the few, into an attractive down-to-earth option for most average people," he said.

The new US$ 5 SIM card will have a 12-month validity from the first call, contains a US$ 2 worth of airtime credit and can be annually renewed at a US$ 5 fee.

With ThurayaECO, Thuraya expects to significantly enhance the price perceptions of satellite telecom offerings which have prevailed in global and regional markets over the years.

According to an industry analyst, ThurayaECO prices are shockingly low for mobile satellite business and in most cases competes with GSM services in Europe even if you are not roaming. If compared to GSM roaming charges, GSM does not stand a chance. This should break open new markets.

The Company anticipates to see momentous adoption of its mobile satellite services following the introduction of very encouraging, and even more favourable, call tariffs compared to those offered by local GSM networks.

For more information, please visit Thuraya's website at:

Notes and contacts

About Thuraya (

Thuraya, based in the United Arab Emirates, provides cost-effective mobile satellite services in more than 110 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The Company will launch its third satellite in October this year, bringing countries of the Asia-Pacific region under its footprint and extending its coverage to nearly two thirds of the globe's population.

Thuraya was founded in 1997 by a consortium of leading national telecommunications operators and reputed investment firms from the region.

Contact Details

Wijdan Saleh

Thuraya Satellite Telecommunication Company

971 2 6161336



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