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Thuraya Network and Coverage

In an ever-evolving world where constant communication is not optional, people need a reliable satellite network that allows them to stay connected wherever they go.

Though cellular networks these days offer incredible speed, it does users no good when they travel outside cellular range. Satellite networks, on the other hand, make communication possible in those remote areas but lack in a lot of the functionality you desire in your smartphone.

Thuraya is a unique satellite provider that creates a bridge between satellite connectivity and communicating within cellular networks.

Why choose Thuraya Satellite Network?

Thuraya stands out from its competitors for a variety of reasons, with the most notable being its unique GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) roaming capability. This makes connectivity possible around the globe when combined with its satellite mobile coverage. 

What can you expect when you choose a device that operates on the Thuraya satellite system?

  1. Congestion-free satellite communications across two-thirds of the globe

     

  2. Uninterrupted L-band coverage (heavily relied upon by the maritime community)

     

  3. Every Thuraya phone and standalone device is fitted with a GPS receiver and transmits its location to the Thuraya gateway.

     

  4. A company that continues to adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs across markets

     

  5. Coverage that partners with over 350 roaming providers to deliver boundary-free seamless connectivity across the world

Thuraya is a sound choice for its satellite capabilities as well as its ability to create a dual-communication option for users traveling outside its satellite network. 

Thuraya Coverage and Coverage Maps

By now you’re likely intrigued into what Thuraya can do for you and your communication needs. Clearly they are a leader in the industry with areas of the world where unmatched satellite connectivity is possible.

The robust satellite network of Thuraya offers high quality voice and data options. Those requiring connectivity across Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia simply connect via the satellite network, and those beyond that range are able to continue communication by way of the land-based mobile GSM networks that Thuraya partners with.

For those countries that fall into Thuraya’s satellite network coverage area, it’s certainly a top contender when it comes to choosing which satellite provider is right for you. 

The following coverage map shows both available and possible service when utilizing Thuraya’s satellite connection.

thuraya sat map

The coverage map below demonstrates the far reach available with Thuraya utilizing GSM roaming. 

thuraya-gsm-map

Get to Know Thuraya

Thuraya is a regional mobile-satellite service provider headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. It operates two geosynchronous mobile satellites allowing for communication in many parts of the world outside of cellular range.

Thuraya 2 was launched in 2003 and can handle 13,750 simultaneous voice calls. It currently serves most of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia.

Thuraya 3 was successfully launched in 2008. Its similar to Thuraya 2 but maintains a different position in geosynchronous orbit. 

Both satellites operate 22,236 miles above earth and match the earth’s rotation. This means the coverage area always stays the same. This high altitude is what allows for such a large area of coverage even with only 2 satellites in operation.

Thuraya is a company making remote communication a reality by way of its network, as well as its various product offerings. Because of course, you need both!

Products Operating on the Thuraya Network

There is an array of Thuraya products to choose from, all of which you’re able to operate both within and outside of its satellite network. Whether you prefer a basic satellite phone, a dual-mode option that allows you to call on both SAT and GSM networks simultaneously, or would rather turn your own phone into a satellite device, Thuraya makes it possible.

Satellite Phone Options

Through Satmodo, both satellite phone and hotspot options are available.

XT-LITE Satellite Phone

  1. Advanced omni-directional antenna ensures seamless walk-and-talk functionality
  2. Voice and SMS capability in satellite mode when cellular networks are unavailable
  3. Long-lasting battery life
  4. Top value for the cost-conscious user

XT Satellite Phone

  1. Unwavering quality and reliability
  2. Rugged design is splash and dust resistant as well as shock proofed
  3. Full walk-and-talk capability even the antenna is stowed
  4. Compact and light for ultimate portability
  5. Glare-resistant display and high contrast menu

XT-PRO Satellite Phone

  1. An advanced satellite phone designed for professional users
  2. Built-in GPS, BeiDou and Glonass capability for the highest flexibility between navigation systems
  3. Easy-to-use dedicated SOS button
  4. Rugged design to withstand the elements – shockproof and jet water/dust resistant
  5. Small enough to fit in your pocket

XT-Pro Dual Satellite Phone

  1. World’s first dual-mode, dual-SIM phone
  2. Seamlessly move between satellite and terrestrial communication
  3. Make and receive calls simultaneously on both networks
  4. Advanced navigation capabilities
  5. Powerful, long-lasting battery

X5-Touch

The X5-Touch is the world’s first Android-based satellite and GSM phone.

  1. Seamlessly move in and out of terrestrial coverage areas
  2. Works over Thuraya’s L-band satellite network as well as GSM 2G/3G/4G/LTE networks
  3. 5.2” full HD touchscreen
  4. Preinstalled navigation and tracking apps
  5. Rugged and durable with glare-resistant Gorilla glass and IP67 rating

 

Hotspot Options

Hotspots can offer users a flexible solution that allows for an easy interchange between areas with and without cellular capability. If you want the fastest way to turn your phone into a satellite device, this is it.

Thuraya offers the Satsleeve and Satsleeve+ hotspot options. Though they both offer the same satellite functionality that pairs with your own mobile device, they are used in different ways. 

The Satsleeve Hotspot is best for those who prefer a standalone unit that stay separate from their phone. The Satsleeve+ is equipped with a universal holder for smartphones, perfect for those wanting to use their phone as a satellite device in a handheld fashion. 

Both Satsleeves offer the following notable features:

  1. Use your smartphone in satellite mode
  2. Access your favorite apps on the move
  3. Excellent sound quality via your own device
  4. Comes equipped with an SOS call button that works even if the smartphone isn’t connected
  5. Download speeds up to 60 kbps, upload up to 15 kbps

Are there any cons of using Globalstar?

You may be sold on Thuraya due to its extensive coverage made possible via GSM roaming. It is certainly a huge convenience for any frequent traveler who never stays put in one spot for too long. The downside, however, is that it isn’t free. You’ll pay more when traveling beyond Thuraya’s satellite coverage areas.

If your travels take place in North or South America, your only option via Thuraya is with GSM roaming, which means a different provider is likely the better choice. Even though Inmarsat also operates with a geostationary system, the fact that it utilizes 13 satellites allows for a more extensive coverage area, giving those users an alternative.

But for those seeking remote communication in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Australia, Thuraya can be a both affordable and flexible option with a lot to offer.

Thuraya Coverage Comparison at a Glance

Use the following chart to find out how Globalstar compares to other leading satellite networks available to you

Network

Thuraya

Globalstar

Inmarsat

Iridium

% of Global Coverage

90% (including roaming

80%

90%

100%

Polar Coverage

Limited

No

No

Yes

LEO or Geostationary Satellites

Geostationary

Low-Earth Orbiting (LEO

Low-Earth Orbiting (LEO)

66 (plus 9 spares)

Number of Satellites

2

13

66 (plus 9 spares)

2

Pros

Global network access from most locations

Great value Color screen Covers most of the world

100% Global Coverage Land, Sea, Air No gap in coverage Small, compact, easy to use

100% Global Coverage Land, Sea, Air No gap in coverage Small, compact, easy to use

Cons

Expect higher charges when roaming on GSM services No coverage in North America, and some other countries (without roaming

No polar connectivity Antenna makes phone bulky

Higher Cost

Higher Cost

Voice Service Plan Cost

Monthly plans starting at $39

Monthly plans starting at $49.99

Monthly plans starting at $59.99

Monthly plans starting at $59.99

Further Coverage Information

Looking for more information on the other top satellite networks? Further comparisons can be found on our network coverage page.

For each of the following networks you can find out the extent of coverage, see data and satellite phone coverage maps, and the range of products that operate on each platform by going to each network’s individual page.

  1. Iridium
  2. Inmarsat
  3. Globalstar
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