What is Satellite Phone
A satellite telephone, satellite phone, or satphone is a type of mobile phone that connects to orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites. They provide similar functionality to terrestrial mobile telephones; voice, short messaging service and low-bandwidth internet access are supported through most systems.
Depending on the architecture of a particular system, coverage may include the entire Earth, or only specific regions.
The mobile equipment, also known as a terminal, varies widely. Early satellite phone handsets had a size and weight comparable to that of a late-1980s or early-1990s mobile phone, but usually with a large retractable antenna. More recent satellite phones are similar in size to a regular mobile phone while some prototype satellite phones have no distinguishable difference from an ordinary smartphone. Satphones are popular on expeditions into remote areas where terrestrial cellular service is unavailable.
A fixed installation, such as one used aboard a ship, may include large, rugged, rack-mounted electronics, and a steerable microwave antenna on the mast that automatically tracks the overhead satellites. Smaller installations using VoIP over a two-way satellite broadband service such as BGAN or VSAT bring the costs within the reach of leisure vessel owners. Internet service satellite phones have notoriously poor reception indoors, though it may be possible to get a consistent signal near a window or in the top floor of a building if the roof is sufficiently thin. The phones have connectors for external antennas that can be installed in vehicles and buildings. The systems also allow for the use of repeaters, much like terrestrial mobile phone systems.
Thuraya Satellite Phone Service
Thuraya, from the Arabic name Thurayya meaning Star, is an international mobile satellite services provider based in the United Arab Emirates. The company claims to operate in more than 140 countries across Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia. With more than 350 roaming partners worldwide, Thuraya is the only mobile satellite operator that offers GSM roaming services over mobile networks.
Established in 1997, Thuraya’s satellites enable two-thirds of the globe’s population to communicate in areas unserved by terrestrial networks. The organization provides data and voice satellite communications solutions in remote locations for the energy, media, government, NGO and maritime sectors
They have sold in excess of 650,000 satellite handheld phones since launching in 2001. Thuraya offers the only dual mode satellite phone, the Thuraya XT-DUAL, a handset that features both GSM and satellite capabilities. In addition, Thuraya provides the Thuraya IP data modem, a secure and rapidly deployable satellite broadband solution offering connection speeds up to 444 kbit/s standard IP.
The company is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates and distributes its products and service through authorized service partners worldwide. Its shareholders consist of investment companies, Middle Eastern and North African telcos in which Etisalat is a major one.
Other Satellite Phone Service Providers