Thuraya's third satellite ready

The coverage size of Thuraya will double soon. (OSAMA ABUGHANIM)

Thuraya, UAE's satellite receiver provider, has announced the commercial readiness of its third satellite, Thuraya-3, aimed at covering the Asia-Pacific region.

Thuraya-3 and relating ground network are fully ready for starting commercial activities shortly. This will herald a new phase in the firm's expansion and growth in Asia, said a statement from Thuraya.

The Geosynchronous satellite, which was launched by Sea Launch in January this year, underwent a rigorous technical testing on all its ground, space and other related systems to ensure high service quality prior to commercial launch.

The company's expanded coverage towards Asia-Pacific, including such major markets as China, Australia, Japan, Korea and Indonesia, will double the current market size and population covered by the Thuraya system, bringing two more billion people under its extensive footprint.

"This is another great step achieved by Thuraya towards becoming a multi-regional mobile satellite operator serving millions around the world. We are looking forward to offering our services and solutions to the people, businesses and key trade and economical sectors in all East Asian markets," said Thuraya Chief Executive Yusuf Al Sayed.

He added that the border-to-border coverage provided by Thuraya in each country under its footprint will empower people in rural and remote areas as well as those at sea or beyond the reach of terrestrial networks by providing them a reliable access to modern voice and data communications.

"Moreover, our continued coverage expansion will provide our existing subscribers great advantage and flexibility to use their Thuraya phones in a larger footprint of nearly 170 countries," Al Sayed elaborated.

Parallel to technical readiness which has been undergoing since 2007, the commercial infrastructure has also been put in place in time, with highly promising distribution and marketing partnerships established with strong networks in such key markets as Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mongolia and Macau.

Several agreements for ThurayaMarine have also been signed up with specialised maritime distributors which started service provisioning in the Asia-Pacific from last week.