Compared to other systems, like Globalstar or Iridium, Thuraya is an outstanding service.
I tried them all.
Regarding Iridium: Data rates are slow, and handsets are bulky (last handset released in y2000). Connections tend to be unstable, as the satellites are moving and you have to make sure of a clear view to the sky to ANY direction! Calling charges are three times of what Thuraya costs. No GSM/CDMA-Roaming available.
Regarding Globalstar: New handset released recently. However, this device is more a replica of the unit released in 1999 from which the cellular part has been removed. No new features though. Furthermore, the satellites are failing service, making Globalstar unusable at least until 2010, for when the second generation satellite constellation is scheduled. Same restrictions regarding connection stability as for iridium, as system architecture is similar. Further road map does not include GSM/CDMA roaming service any longer.
Back to Thuraya, we have it all:
Once a connection is established, it remains stable, as the satellites are geostationary and will not suddenly disappear behind a tree, mountain or something. Speech quality is crystal clear, and data rates are comparatively high. Additional services allow us to locate our position using the build-in GPS-receiver, or surf the mobile Internet using the WAP-browser. And, probably the best of it, paying less than $6/MB using Thurayas GPRS-like GMPRS-service, we can even afford it! Of course, even the Thuraya prepaid contract allows the phone to roam in local GSM networks, ensuring indoor coverage.
The bottom line is that, where available, Thuraya offers far more value and innovative services than any other satellite product currently applicable.
Only remaining competitor is Inmarsat, currently evaluating the distribution of worldwide handheld satellite service supplying coverage to the so far vastly unknown ACeS (Asia Cellular Satellite) devices.
so....sattelite and GSM phone....built in GPS receiver....mpeg4 player....and comes with 128MB card included.....sound really really good....
and if they work a little bit on the camera and battery life they they could get me hooked......
Sat phone with GSM sounds like a good concept, hope there are no hickups down the track, just have to wait for the phone to hit the market.
It seems like all in one phone, this is so cool, can not wait to get my hands on one.
This phone is cool and hope it launches with a price like 10grand
I heard about Thuraya nearly 7 years ago when they launched in Pakistan. That time it was so expensive on package but no idea so now. This is good to use in Aghanistan or Iraq mountains
yes the one below me is right. this may be useful for those who need.
I think that this satellite is not so heavy considering that it can connect to satellites at many km above the Earth. It has a good camera, his battery is not so bad on SIM mode, it has bluetooth, infrared and an expansion card slot so it`s pretty good. Let`s hope that it will appear on market with a good price.