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Thuraya IP: The Solution of Choice for Powerful, Portable Communications across the MENA

‘Data’ is not just a buzzword. It’s a global business phenomenon that’s rapidly escalating into multi-billion dollar revenues for the communications industry. Broadband connectivity for all is top of the agenda for leading telecom organizations and governments around the world. Short-term forecasts dictate that certain Middle Eastern countries are set to overtake Western Europe in Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G wireless broadband technology penetration.

However, despite accelerated efforts in the Middle East to ease accessibility to broadband services, available networks are still behind the curve when it comes to addressing market needs. As a result, in many areas, broadband penetration remains quite low, particularly in remote areas located outside of urban centers.

This is where satellite communications comes to the fore; the most reliable and convenient choice for high-speed data services in remote areas, satellite communications serves as the ideal alternative. As the market-leader in satellite voice products and the most recognized mobile satellite solutions (MSS) operator in the Middle East, Thuraya is using its vast knowledge and technical superiority to enable broadband service across the region, in even the most remote areas. Thuraya’s powerful, robust network and portfolio of innovative products allows subscribers to create remote office capabilities with the same functionality of those equipped with modern communication tools.

Thuraya IP, the world’s smallest satellite broadband solution to support 384 Kbps streaming, lies at the heart of our broadband offering.

The unique solution, which delivers 444 Kbps Standard IP, is backed by a dominant network featuring unique capabilities that ensure constant connectivity. Specifically designed to be one of the most powerful in the world, Thuraya’s network benefits from ‘high gain spot beams’, a system that allows vast numbers of simultaneous users at any one time - far more than some of our competitors’. In addition, the network is able to intelligently and instantly move bandwidth around the Thuraya coverage zones (more than 140 countries), enabling areas with large surges in traffic to benefit from additional resources, making sure congestion is avoided  and robust  communications is maintained.

It is these qualities, combined with the innovative design, size and functionality of Thuraya IP, that appeal directly to various vertical markets in the Middle East.

One of the prime examples is the broadcast media. Thuraya IP is the solution of choice to relay live video transmissions to studios in separate locations, particularly during breaking news alerts. In Sudan, prominent events such as the elections and referendum were instantly available to viewers due to the advanced streaming capabilities of Thuraya IP from remote areas.

Broadcast is by nature a fast and competitive industry where news channels fight to break stories and update compelling issues as they happen. To be able to gather news quickly and efficiently, broadcast media channels require compact, portable and highly mobile satcom broadband services especially in hotspots. Again, Thuraya IP proves to be the most authoritative choice; it is the only mobile satellite broadband terminal to be A5 sized and weighs 1300 grams, thus fitting easily alongside the equipment of broadcasters. Additionally, the solution supports a full media solutions suite and is the only satellite broadband terminal to provide asymmetric streaming. This revolutionary asymmetric streaming feature allows consumers to select their upload and download speeds, contributing to huge cost savings. Typically, reporters in the field will upload video to the studio, a process that uses quite a large amount of bandwidth. However, they do not need to receive large files in return. Most operators have a pricing structure based on uploading and downloading the same amount of content - Thuraya does not. Their asymmetric streaming means you only pay for what you use, making it a much more cost-effective option.

Similarly, in North Africa we have witnessed a growth in adoption of Thuraya IP by large energy corporations. Key features for this particular market were again, size and mobility, both of which are very important during exploration phases. The terminal’s reliability and powerful supporting network were also deciding factors. Whereas V-SAT alternatives are affected during bad weather conditions, Thuraya products are not. Portability is also key. The lack of large antennas and extra engineers to carry them, makes Thuraya IP a simple, affordable option. And when it comes to popularity with employees and crew with crew, Thuraya IP wins hands down. Enabling constant communication with head office is vital, but just as important is the ‘feel-good’ factor.

For Thuraya, people are at the heart of what they do and they understand the importance of keeping in touch with loved-ones when you’re away for long periods of time. Thuraya IP allows access to applications such as Skype and other web-based software, keeping people constantly in touch. Most importantly, the terminal supports industry-specific applications which facilitate operational efficiency.

Government organizations in Saudi Arabia depend on Thuraya IP for border control and NGOs such as the United Nations use the solution for refugee control operations in the MENA region. The solution is also deployed as a backup for ATM machines in remote areas as well as in the mining sector. Miners tend to be located in areas that provide limited terrestrial coverage making the space based nature of the Thuraya network highly appealing. Moreover, as Thuraya IP is a plug-and-play system, it requires no additional software for operation and does not demand sophisticated programming which also adds to its attractiveness among all these mentioned vertical market segments.

Thuraya IP’s success across vertical markets and even with individual users is based on its key qualities: power, portability, reliability and ease-of-use. When these qualities are combined with affordable packages, Thuraya IP faces little competition from the marketplace. The robust network, specifically designed by Thuraya to handle high volumes of simultaneous users and minimize congestion, has proven to be a key deciding factor for many customers and something that Thuraya is proud of. Over the coming years as Thuraya continues to lead in product innovation and further upgrade of its powerful network, the market can expect an exciting evolution in the mobile satellite services industry, of which Thuraya will be a key player.