Thuraya launches Thuraya XT Satellite Phone WiFi Hotspot

Thuraya XT Satellite Phone

Industry leading Mobile Satellite Services operator, Thuraya Telecommunications Company yesterday announced the launch of its Thuraya XT-Hotspot product. Building upon the success of its Thuraya XT handheld, the industry’s most popular and toughest satellite phone, Thuraya is introducing the XT-Hotspot, which is a pocket-size router that creates a Wi-Fi zone for multiple users to connect smartphones, laptops, and tablets to the internet over Thuraya’s mobile satellite network. The XT-Hotspot is the only Wi-Fi router on the market offering a plug and play solution enabling easy and affordable internet access with the fastest satellite data speeds on a handheld of up to 60 kbps in the most remote of areas.

Thuraya’s Vice President of Marketing, T. Sanford Jewett said “Thuraya is busy expanding our product line with innovative products to provide our users with convenient and practical mobile communication solutions. The XT-Hotspot is yet another example of Thuraya’s commitment to delivering simple and cost-effective communication tools that enhance the value of our satellite services.”

The XT-Hotspot uses the GmPRS connection of the Thuraya XT handset, which supports faster connection speeds of up to 60 kbps, as opposed to 9.6 kbps currently offered on the market. The router creates a Wi-Fi zone of up to 30 meters, where multiple users can simultaneously access the internet seamlessly from their laptops or smartphones. It is a compact battery-powered device ideal for users from diverse sectors including NGOs, Government, Energy and Media.

The XT-Hotspot will shortly be available from Global Telesat Communications.

Thuraya Launches Latest Generation of Dual-Mode Satellite & GSM Phone “XT-DUAL”

Thuraya XT DUAL Satellite Phone

The new Thuraya XT Dual Satellite Phone

  • GSM and satellite capabilities
  • Fastest sat phone data capability at 60 kbps
  • Built-in web browser
  • Longest battery life of any sat phone – up to 11 hours talktime and up to 160 hours standby time
  • GPS functionality that allows waypoint navigation, tracking capabilities to send automatic location updates by SMS and an emergency function.

Thuraya, the leading international mobile satellite operator with a record of over 600,000 phones sold to date, has launched today the most advanced dual mode handheld phone that features both GSM and satellite capabilities. The introduction of this unique phone, branded XT-DUAL, makes Thuraya the only satellite operator to offer seamless communications as the phone provides consumers the flexibility and freedom to switch between GSM and satellite modes wherever they may be located.

With a growing subscriber base of voice consumers, one of the world’s most powerful networks and a robust reputation for high-performance and compact handhelds, Thuraya continues to present an unprecedented consumer experience through the new, state-of-the-art XT-DUAL phone. 

As the XT-DUAL operates efficiently as a standard GSM phone within the reach of terrestrial networks, and when out of terrestrial network reach operates as a satellite phone supported by Thuraya’s powerful network, consumers from all sectors and groups can enjoy the reliability and convenience of handheld voice communications from a device that has high call stability and full walk-and-talk capabilities.

“Today marks yet another milestone for Thuraya as a leader and innovator in the mobile satellite industry. The XT DUAL is certainly a step ahead in satellite telephony and a solution that will transform mobile communications for years to come. The new phone ensures reliable and seamless communications in one very sleek unit, enabling consumers to benefit from the best of the two worlds of GSM and satellite,” said Thuraya’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Samer Halawi.

A smart and professional phone, the XT-DUAL responds to the vital needs of frequent travelers, businessmen, VIPs and consumers from diverse industries as it has a built-in web browser for internet access directly on the phone and it offers the fastest data service on any satellite enabled handheld at 60 kbit/s. It is also cased in a sleek, rugged, and modern design.

“In a time where there’s a high demand for a rapid exchange of information from smart handhelds (broadband mobility), Thuraya is proud to introduce a phone that is very much in line with today’s needs of telecom consumers. Consumers who require GSM for their daily life, and satellite functionality whenever they are out of coverage or for backup in emergency situations, now have a superior phone that meets all of their communication needs,” added Mr. Halawi.

The Thuraya XT-DUAL is an extension of the successful Thuraya XT phone which is renowned for being the world’s toughest satellite phone. As such, the XT-DUAL is also splash water, dust and impact protected due to its IP64/IK03 rating, making it a rugged handheld that endures tough conditions.

The new phone offers the comfort of free mobility without consumers having to worry about the direction of the satellite. Additionally, and like the XT phone, if the antenna of the handheld is stowed, satellite calls can still be received due to a High-Penetration-Alerting function.

In addition to the built-in web browser, the phone can be connected to a laptop/PC for internet access and can be synchronized with a laptop/PC.

As Thuraya is the only satellite operator to offer satellite roaming capabilities for GSM consumers, people on the move can choose either to use a Thuraya SIM card or access Thuraya’s robust network by simply inserting their GSM SIM card into the XT-DUAL. Thuraya has roaming agreements with 324 operators covering 154 countries.

The phone also has a battery saving technology to support a long lasting talk time of up to 11 hours and standby time of up to 160 hours contributing to the high attractiveness of the phone.

Weighing a mere 211g, the XT-DUAL has an advanced outdoor display with a brightness sensor for perfect readability even in bright sunlight.

The XT-DUAL offers a GPS functionality that allows waypoint navigation, tracking capabilities to send automatic location updates by SMS as well as an emergency function.

The phone supports twelve languages, has messaging via SMS, MMS, e-mail and fax, Bluetooth, an organizer, media center, and it supports Java, allowing external programs to be installed on the phone.

Global Telesat Communications will soon have pricing available for this new model, please contact us for more information.

Thuraya launches Twitter via SMS service

Thuraya users will be able to operate their Twitter accounts via SMS from 15th December 2011.  This means that users will be able to update their Twitter accounts from anywhere within the Thuraya coverage area.

To use this service, customers will need to use the dedicated SMS code of 1888. This code will allow you to link your Thuraya phone to your Twitter account.

Thuraya voice customers will receive Tweets free-of-charge in the form of an incoming SMS. Outgoing Tweets will be sent and charged as a normal text message.

Twitter allows you to update your friends, family and followers in realtime in a short SMS style fashion.

It is especially useful for remote users to keep up-to-date with their company and social circles.

Thuraya is the first satellite network operator to bring the service to its handsets.

IMPORTANT Message to all Thuraya sat phone users

Reuters: Libya has warned that anyone found using a Thuraya satellite phone without a permit would be charged with collaborating with the enemy and as a spy for NATO and may face the death penalty. Therefore, please make sure you carry a permit allowing its use according to the laws and regulations in force.

 

Satellite phone or personal tracker waterproof cases are now available in our shop

Protect your satellite phone or personal tracker from water, sand, dirt or dust with these waterproof cases while giving you full use of your phone.

Compatible with:

  • Thuraya XT

  • Thuraya SG-2520

  • Iridium 9555

  • IsatPhone Pro

  • SHOUT nano

  • SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

Improved Sat Phone Rental Service

GTC Rental Sat Phones

The range of rental sat phones on offer from Global Telesat Communications

Here at GTC we have recently made improvements to our satellite phone rental service ready for the summer months.  Our improvements include:

  • No set-up fees
  • Free delivery and collection of the rental sat phone
  • Deposits lowered on Iridium 9555 and Thuraya XT – now just £600
  • Deposit returned to your card within 48 hours of returning your rental
  • 5% off any handset purchase with every rental

With call costs from just £1.50 per minute and rental charges from £35 per week using a sat phone is a cost-effective alternative to the high roaming charges imposed by mobile operators.  And don’t forget…it’s free to receive calls and call charges are the same no matter where you are in the world.

Call us free on 0800 112 3919 now to book your sat phone rental today!

Did you know? We also rent satellite terminals so if it’s fast data transfer you need see our BGAN terminal rental.

Using Iridium and Thuraya satellite phones for data connection

For those who frequently require internet connection in remote locations using a satellite terminal on the Inmarsat BGAN satellite network is a good choice with their portable terminals, fast data speeds and very reliable service.

But what about those who will only occasionally want to use a data connection while in remote locations?  It is little known that satellite phones can also provide data services.  Although the speed will not be as fast as Inmarsat BGAN, if you only require need data services every now and then, a satellite phone will suffice and will be a much cheaper alternative to BGAN.  Every Iridium and Thuraya sat phone that we stock is capable of sending emails directly from the phone and the Thuraya SG-2520 even has an in-built browser meaning you don’t need to connect to your laptop to use the internet.

Iridium offers a data speed of 9.6kbps and each Iridium 9555 comes with a USB cable to connect to your laptop making data connections with your sat phone very simple.  Thuraya’s basic data service offers speeds of up to 9.6kbps.  However, their GmPRS service offers enhanced speeds of up to 60kbps (downlink) at an additional fee making data connections with your satellite phone more viable.  With GmPRS you are charged by the volume of data you send and receive rather than the duration of the data call (as is the case with Thuraya’s basic data service).  Uplink speeds are available at up to 15kbps.  The GmPRS service is available on both post-paid and pre-paid data SIM cards.

As with Iridium phones, all Thuraya phones come with the data cables required to set-up your data connection quickly and easily. 

So if you need to send and receive emails or browse the web while on the move a satellite phone could be just what you need.  If you are not sure whether a sat phone or a satellite terminal would best  suit your needs why not contact us with your questions?

Need a satellite phone for the short-term only? Why not consider a sat phone rental?

As we enter summer people start to enjoy the weather and get out and about by climbing, sailing, mountaineering and fishing more often.  However, many of these activities can mean venturing into the unknown where there is no mobile phone coverage and in case of emergency it is essential that adventurers have means of communication.  This is where a satellite phone would come in handy but if you only need it for a couple of months a year is it worth the investment?  With sat phones ranging from £420 – £999 plus airtime charges it may be that satellite phone rental is a more viable option.  Starting from just £140 a month sat phone rental allows you to stay in touch without the investment a sat phone purchase brings.

For coverage in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Far East and Australia consider Thuraya or Iridium.  However, if you need to use a sat phone outside these areas Iridium is the only provider to meet your requirements.  See network coverage maps for more information.

The Iridium 9555 satellite phone offers global coverage and is just one of the sat phones Global Telesat Communications offer for rental.

The Iridium 9555 satellite phone offers global coverage and is just one of the sat phones Global Telesat Communications offer for rental.

Once you have decided where you need to use the sat phone consider whether you need to hire any sat phone accessories.  Good sat phone rental providers can offer normal mains chargers, solar chargers and additional batteries as well as hands-free and data kits.

Most providers work on the basis that you pay a refundable deposit upon booking your satellite phone rental.  Any airtime charges you incur will then be deducted from this deposit upon return of the phone and accessories in good condition.

At Global Telesat Communications we offer the newest satellite phone handsets for rental – the Iridium 9555, Thuraya XT and Thuraya SO-2510.  We will shortly be adding the new Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro to our rental stock which provides global coverage.  Satellite phones are available for next day delivery and we can provide frequent traffic updates so you can keep track of your spending.  We also offer basic airtime plans for rentals with emergency use in mind only or plans with inclusive minutes for those who know they will be frequently using the sat phone.  For more information please contact us or visit our satellite rentals page.

Thuraya GPS Navigation

It is well known that Thuraya phones are brilliant for helping you to keep in touch in remote locations through voice and data services.  A lesser known feature of the Thuraya phones is their ability to store and transmit geographical co-ordinates by GPS.

With the Thuraya GPS navigation feature, you are able to locate your position anytime, anywhere within the Thuraya coverage area or compatible GSM coverage area.  Once you have acquired the co-ordinates you can:

  1. Save co-ordinates on your Thuraya phone for later reference.
  2. Send co-ordinates by SMS to another phone.
  3. Send co-ordinates by SMS to the ThurayaLocate service.

The ThurayaLocate service is offered free of charge by Thuraya in connection with UK based location and risk management experts Geonix.  Simply register for a free account and you will then be prompted to enter the Thuraya phone number of the device you wish to track – you can set up as many devices on the account as you like.  Once you have set-up the account you can then view the co-ordinates you acquire from your Thuraya handset on the ThurayaLocate website.

thuraya-gps

An example of co-ordinate information shown on the ThurayaLocate website

 

How do I send my co-ordinates to ThurayaLocate?

You acquire your co-ordinates through the Navigation menu of your handset.  You can either choose to transmit your current position or historical positions you have saved as waypoints.  Once you have selected the waypoint you require you then choose “Send via SMS” from the menu, send to +278388918342 (dedicated ThurayaLocate number) and your co-ordinates will instantly show up on your ThurayaLocate account map.  Date and time information is also transmitted.  The ThurayaLocate service will also work when you are roaming on GSM networks and the only cost the user will incur in either satellite or GSM mode is the cost of the SMS to ThurayaLocate – this will vary depending on your airtime plan, please check before using if you are unsure.

ThurayaLocate is especially useful for users travelling in remote locations – simply share your log-in details with family and friends and they will be able to keep up to date with your journey progress.

Channel Five’s The Gadget Show Satellite Phone Review

Thuraya XT and Iridium 9555 Satellite Phones

Thuraya XT and Iridium 9555 Satellite Phones as reviewed by Channel Five's The Gadget Show

Channel Five’s The Gadget Show last night reviewed the Iridium 9555 and a Thuraya XT satellite phone provided by Global Telesat Communications based on the following criteria:

  1. How quickly the phone got a satellite signal
  2. How quickly the phone made a call
  3. Features
  4. Battery Life
  5. Global Coverage

It was a close call but the Iridium 9555 was the overall winner with the Thuraya XT winning both the features and battery life categories.

Watch their verdict here