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Year In Review... Thuraya

thuraya_sm1210_l Thuraya Telecommunications Co., a world leading mobile satellite services (MSS) operator, has made good progress in 2010 towards creating a vertical business client-base. The solutions it is offering and promoting today are increasingly designed for large corporate users, its distribution partners (SPs) are now more of those with strong corporate links and its marketing strategy is primarily driven towards vertical media and events. This is all in line with a revamped business strategy embarked upon and announced in mid 2009.

Under its commercial umbrella, the Company has several specifically targeted market segments: MarineComms, EnergyComms, MediaComms, DefenseComms, AviationComms and ReliefComms, which clearly set out the focus areas for its business operations. Each of these tags is augmented by a complete range of cutting-edge voice and data solutions.

Based on the world’s smallest broadband solution, Thuraya launched an IP Starter Package which offers users of high-speed data services an ideal and economic solution. The Thuraya IP Starter Package is a flexible entry level package with a low activation fee as well as low monthly charges and pay-as-you-go billing.

Additionally, Thuraya introduced the SCAN Antenna which has been designed to enhance streaming speeds of Thuraya’s IP terminal. Manufactured by a specialist firm, SCAN Antenna, it is the smallest in the market and provides 384 Kbps uplink and downlink streaming speeds reliably. This antenna is ideal for many market segments including the broadcast and defense.

Recent trends in the MSS industry have indicated that Communications on the Move (COTM) will be in demand in the years to come. To further extend usage of Thuraya IP, the Company introduced a new antenna solution allowing efficient usage of data communications in moving vehicles. The Thuraya COTM antenna is very compact (it is the smallest in the market) and light-weight, which can easily be roof-mounted on any vehicle.

In line with prevalent market trends that indicate a strong demand for aeronautical communication services, Thuraya launched its satellite aeronautical service. Developed by SATSYS, the French-based aeronautical services specialists, Thuraya’s aero solutions are the smallest systems in the market that enable voice and data communications onboard all types of aircraft. Branded as AviationComms, Thuraya’s aeronautical solutions include a narrowband terminal which is currently available and a broadband internet terminal that is scheduled for launch very shortly. Thuraya’s compact narrowband terminal provides voice, fax and data services. The broadband internet terminal will provide higher data speeds as well as voice and optional GSM onboard aircraft services.

A major advancement to Thuraya’s satellite maritime offerings is the partnership with Comtech that has led to the development of a broadband terminal complying with all maritime standards. This new terminal is set for launch next year. The solution will provide high-quality voice services as well as broadband and streaming services. The competitive features of the new solution are its compact size and cost-effectiveness.

At present, Thuraya operates in several countries in the Asia Pacific region including Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. To grow its business in the region, Thuraya successfully acquired the license to operate in the Indonesian market through Thuraya’s National Service Provider PTSOG which is a specialised radio and satellite communications company.

As Thuraya provides coverage over the Asia Pacific region, Indonesia is fully served in areas which have limited terrestrial networks including the waterways between the country’s 13,700 islands.

thuraya_sm1210_g1 The Company’s offerings in the Indonesian market include data, maritime and voice services that will attract vertical market segments such as emergency services, government, NGOs, maritime and large corporations.

Thuraya has made great inroads in obtaining the license in China and is expects to launch commercial operations in this market very soon.

In Australia, Thuraya appointed Indigo Telecom as one of its service providers on the vast continent. Presently Indigo Telecom is providing state-of-the-art satellite data and voice coverage across Australia and out to sea through Thuraya’s world class network. Indigo Telecom launched Thuraya IP and the world’s toughest satellite phone, the XT in the Australian market during this year.

Recently, Thuraya signed a new service provider agreement with Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan. Chunghwa Telecom’s, Taiwan’s largest telecommunication operator will cooperate with Thuraya to provide the mobile satellite operator’s services in Taiwan and the neighboring region.

To grow its direct sales network for business travelers in the Middle Eastern region, Thuraya’s handhelds are now available at Duty Free Stores in Qatar and Bahrain Airports, as both are busy travel hubs. With this move Thuraya offers unique shoppers in need of mobile satellite services the opportunity to purchase the Company’s leading handhelds on the way to their respective destinations. Other significant sectors such as oil and gas, government, large corporation and media correspondents will also benefit from being able to conveniently buy Thuraya phones from both airport outlets. The Company will continue developing commercial relations with other airport outlets in Europe to attract a wider customer base.

thuraya_sm1210_bio Looking ahead, Thuraya will continue the same strategic direction of developing sustainable high-value vertical business. Maritime, aviation, media and energy communications comprise the majority of revenues today, as well as in the foreseeable future, for satellite telecom operators and providers. Thuraya will aggressively seek to gain a larger market share in these segments, benefiting from its ubiquitous 140-country coverage area, its dynamic satellite network, and a network of technology and distribution partners.