Thuraya hands multiple deals to Hughes

UAE-based satellite communications provider Thuraya has signed several contracts with Hughes Network Systems for a high-speed mobile data system.

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By  Alex Ritman Published  August 10, 2006

Mobile satellite company Thuraya has signed several contracts with broadband satellite services company Hughes Network Systems that will see Hughes develop and supply a high-speed mobile data system, enabling Thuraya to offer its customers faster data services over its IP-based network. The deal is valued at almost US$60 million. According to Thuraya CEO Yousef Al Sayed, the new equipment will allow for increased offerings. “These new system and products will significantly enhance our service proposition, bringing true broadband data and related value-added applications to our rapidly growing customer base.” In addition to the new high-speed data system, Hughes will supply a secondary gateway that will act as a redundant gateway, and also perform load-sharing functions for the existing primary gateway located in the UAE. Hughes will also supply Thuraya with 1,500 additional mobile system voice circuits. These additional voice circuits will enable Thuraya to approximately double the 250,000-plus subscribers on its existing system, utilising portable, cellphone-sized handsets that combine satellite, GSM cellular and GPS functionality. The multiple contracts build upon a relationship dating back to 1999 between US-based Hughes and Thuraya, whose major shareholder is UAE operator Etisalat. Thuraya provides blanket coverage to over 120 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia.

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