Thuraya – satellite phone provider

Thuraya – the Arabic name of the Pleiades, is a regional satellite phone provider. Its coverage area is most of Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia.

The company is based in the United Arab Emirates and distributes its products and service through authorized service providers. Its shareholders are a mixture of Middle Eastern and North African telcos (in which Etisalat is a major one) and investment companies.

The current number of subscribers is around 250,000 (March 2006). Some 360,000 Thuraya handsets have been put in service since launch in 2001. The subscriber growth has apparently slowed down during the last year, but Thuraya still made a net profit of US$ 80 million on revenues of US$ 323 million in 2005 (compared to just US$ 26 million profit in 2004).

Thuraya offers a range of products sold under their own brandname. Besides these products some 3rd party developers offer complete systems and accessories for their products.

Thuraya operates three communications satellites built by Boeing.

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