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Thuraya finally launches third satellite

Satellite communications company set to roll out its services in Asia in first quarter of 2008

Thuraya, an Abu Dhabi-based satellite communications company, launched its third satellite, Thuraya-3, from a sea-based launch site in the Pacific Ocean yesterday.

The launch, which had been delayed a number of times in recent months due to bad weather, will be instrumental to Thuraya's plan to expand its mobile voice and data services in Asia in the first quarter of 2008.

Yousuf Al Sayed, CEO, Thuraya, said: "The launch of Thuraya-3 is a significant milestone in the company's progress and growth, and in reinforcing Thuraya's status as a...multi-regional mobile satellite operator."

He added that Thuraya has already completed all ground-based network preparations for Thuraya-3 and has also signed commercial partnerships with several partners in Asia-Pacific, which will allow the company to roll out its services in Asia by March this year.

The satellite was put into orbit by Sea Launch, an international partnership of heavy lift launch specialists headed by Boeing.