Thuraya connects Iraq

The Iraq war has positively affected the UAE based Thuraya mobile satellite system, with those phones in operation in Iraq, accounting for 20% of the company’s overall traffic.

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  April 27, 2003

The Iraq war has positively affected the UAE based Thuraya mobile satellite system, with those phones in operation in Iraq, accounting for 20% of the company’s overall telecommunications traffic.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday (April 26) Mohammad Hassan Al Omran, chairman of Thuraya, said that the number of Thuraya handsets sold in the month of April alone was 12,000. Al Omran said, most of the handsets, which he believes went to Iraq, contributed to an increase in airtime, with a daily average of 100,000 minutes. Before the war began March 20, Thuraya registered an average of 15,000 minutes a day in call time in Iraq.

Chairman Mohammad Omran told reporters Thuraya Satellite Telecoms Co. wanted to "speed up the setting up of communications facilities in Iraq" and was forming a task force to study the Iraq market.

Al Omran said the number of Thuraya handsets sold to date is 110,000 that is 6,000 more than the initial target of 104,000. He attributed the increase to the rise in sales in the Iraqi market.

Al Omran said he expected the number of subscribers to increase by the end of 2003 to 180-200 thousand.

Thuraya was established in 1997 by the UAE state-owned Etisalat telecoms with more than 15 regional service providers that comprise Etisalat, Abu Dhabi Investment Company, Arabsat and Q-Tel of Qatar.

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