Dubai's Thuraya expects 10% rise in revenue

Surge propelled by data demand, says CEO

Tags: Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications CompanyUnited Arab Emirates
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Dubai's Thuraya expects 10% rise in revenue Thuraya claims to enjoy a 65% revenue share of the markets it operates in. (Shutterstock)
By  Stephen McBride Published  December 23, 2012

Dubai-based, privately held satellite phone company Thuraya projected a 10% revenue surge for 2012 and a double-digit increase in 2013, on the back of rising data demand, Reuters reported.

Thuraya operates two satellites, serving 140 markets spread across Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, catering to the government, energy, media and maritime sectors.

The growth follows a strategy to focus on the growing data segment and to harness more of the revenue potential from Thuraya's Asian satellite, chief executive Samer Halawi told Reuters. The strategy stemmed from a dip in revenue growth in 2007 as voice demand shrunk.

"This is coming at a time when the industry was slowing down," said Halawi, who has held the role since January 2011. "Voice is a stagnant business. We were over-reliant on voice."

Halawi said the company has managed to double its revenue from the Asia satellite and notes that 2012 data subscriptions soared by 60%, year on year, while total subscribers number 200,000.

Presently, Thuraya claims to enjoy a 65% revenue share of the markets it operates in. UAE operator Etisalat holds a 28% stake in the satellite company and Qatar-owned QTel has an 8% share.

"Voice still has the lion's share of our revenue, but data is growing at a much faster rate," said Halawi. "Data will surpass voice within the next couple of years."

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