Thuraya targets far-flung workers with ‘always on’ net service

After two months in soft launch phase, Thuraya - the UAE-based satellite telecom operator - has officially launched its ‘ThurayaDSL’ satellite broadband service.

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By  Chris Fernando Published  June 12, 2005

After two months in soft launch phase, Thuraya - the UAE-based satellite telecom operator - has officially launched its ‘ThurayaDSL’ satellite broadband service. This service will be available in more than 120 countries, including Europe, North and Central Africa, South Africa, the entire Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. The service is based on a notebook-sized and SIM card-based plug-and-play modem – the ‘ThurayaDSL satellite IP modem’ - which is connected to a notebook or desktop PC via its ethernet port. Once connected, the user is instantly connected to Thuraya’s 144kbps satellite-based broadband internet service through GPRS packet data communication. The service is available on both a pre-paid and post-paid basis and is targeted at users such as business travellers who are in need of reliable high-speed data connectivity whilst on the move and remote workers such as oil-field researchers who might not have any other means of connecting to the internet. Users will pay a fixed monthly subscription fee and a service charge per megabyte of actual usage, which users can calculate on the fly using Thuraya’s online billing service. ThurayaDSL’s post-paid service includes four different plans. The ThurayaDSL Light plan includes a one-time activation charge of $50 and a monthly fee of $30. 5MB of upload and download capacity is included for free, while additional usage is charged at $6 per MB. The ThurayaDSL Plenty plan on the other hand requires users to pay a monthly charge of $525 (130MB of free internet usage) and an additional $5 per MB used. ThurayaDSL Extra charges $975 (300MB of free usage) as a monthly fee and an additional charge of $5 per MB. Fourthly, an unlimited plan is also available for a flat fee of $2,500 per month, offering completely unlimited internet access. ThurayaDSL includes a plethora of services and applications, including e-mail, internet, e-commerce, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Virtual Private Network (VPN). The service is available through Thuraya’s distributors, such as Fort Telecommunications and XSAT FZE in the UAE.

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