Satellite M2M, The IoT, And The Public Sector

Accelerating national interests with remote IoT connectivity 

Little did Kevin Ashton know in 1999 that a catchy term he once used in a presentation about tracking technology would captivate the tech world 15 years later. “Internet of Things” (IoT) refers to a concept that’s been around for decades, but one that only became a buzzword in 2014 with Google’s acquisition of home device automation company Nest.

While organizations have been using connected devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) networks for a long time, the real potential of the IoT phenomenon has only been explored and universally attested recently. Today, IoT is all the rage and for good reason - there’s no doubt that its implementation is the way forward for developing more efficient, responsive, and reliable systems that gather data, generate insight, and  intuitively take actions in light of those decisions.

With a growing understanding of its wide-scale application and cost-cutting capabilities across vertical markets, the public sector has taken a keen interest in IoT and M2M technologies. After China took the initial step to add IoT to its strategic plans in 2010, governments worldwide have allocated annual budgets for M2M integration in countrywide projects. This year alone, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is reported to have dedicated $8B to IoT infrastructure.

As these technologies grow congruent with daily life, satellite-based IoT is increasingly relevant to the mix. Given that IoT devices are primarily used to eliminate the need for human interface, as well as provide real-time automated monitoring and control across distances, it’s often essential to enable its functioning in remote regions that lie outside the range of terrestrial network coverage.

Furthering Government Prospects & Public Welfare

Satellite connectivity is an absolute necessity in the optimized adoption of M2M technology, especially in the case of government-run projects involving diverse industries and dispersed assets across the country. It enables the collation and exchange of data — in real-time — from many inaccessible points and industrial zones to one central monitoring hub, enabling smart and efficient processes while reducing time, money, and personnel requirements on extensive operations.

Below, we explore how satellite M2M is integral, across the board, to public sector interests:

Safety and Security — One of the top priorities of any government is to ensure the safety and security of the nation and safeguard its borders, territories, population, and resources. IoT solutions like seismic sensors are ideal for use in remote border security and perimeter monitoring by civil defense and military teams. Real-time video surveillance, for example, is an enhanced capability in border protection. Many governmental authorities already have expressed interest in deploying these telemetry solutions for civil defense missions. Additionally, all critical infrastructure requires monitoring, especially in far-off, unmanned areas. Even private organizations working in remote regions, such as oil fields, have to adhere to government protocols for safety, often achieved via satellite-enabled remote asset control terminals.

Harvesting Green Energy — This is big on the to-do list of many environmentally-focused public sector agencies. As natural resources are fast depleting, there is an urgent global call to harness clean energy and develop sustainable practices. Remote connectivity is essential to efficiently monitor solar and wind farms, as well as other renewable energy sources. With a smarter understanding of how inaccessible appliances are working, personnel are better equipped to boost the production of clean energy.

Resource Protection — Government agencies have begun collaborating with satcom partners to use satellite M2M solutions for the smart monitoring of groundwater levels, and to manage and conserve water supplies in order to prevent droughts. In such cases, IoT solutions are ideal for helping to safeguard resources. Satellite M2M services can be used to study weather systems and forecast impending climate changes; monitor regions prone to calamities, like earthquakes and forest fires; and protect endangered habitats, as well as inland and aquatic resources.

Utilities — While utilities are often offered by private companies, they usually still fall under the jurisdiction of government authorities. With the introduction of smart metering and the monitoring of power grids and treatment plants outside areas of mobile coverage, satellite M2M delivers a scalable, efficient solution in high-volume data collection for electricity, gas, and water authorities. Moreover, an IoT solution helps ease the stress of meeting increasing demand for utilities, as consumption and supply are better managed with timely detections in delivery networks — for example, with smart sensors that can swiftly detect water pipe leakages.

Banking — Banking as an industry has been using an early IoT prototype — the ATM — for decades, lending customers access to financial services without having to meet a bank teller. Over the years, these virtual transaction trends have moved towards mobile banking services, and governments now are taking measures to add more efficiency to banking procedures. These steps include setting up real-time video for customer support and surveillance at ‘smart ATMs’; customized offers to smartphones, using beacon technology, when customers enter a bank branch; and POS terminals at establishments that allow customers the convenience of secure credit or debit card transactions from their phones.

IoT services by way of satellite offer many more applications — from smart agriculture, transportation, and fuel management to cargo and personnel tracking. As knowledge and legislation for convergence technologies become pervasive, governments around the world are set to embrace IoT solutions in every relevant industry.

Creating Benefits That Outweigh Risks

While most agree on the benefits of IoT, there are no doubt technological, regulatory, and other dilemmas associated with its implementation. That said, public authorities generally are open to new tech solutions, as long as they don’t compromise on information data security. As we rush towards an ever more connected future, the danger of hacking looms larger. Moreover, increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI), while spectacular in its capabilities, comes with its own problems — a reduction in human factor with such technologies implies that system errors are harder to find, stop, and fix.

These examples pose an ongoing challenge for IoT service providers: to develop highly resilient IoT platforms with advanced encryption, as well as early warning and predictive systems. It’s our responsibility to not only develop intuitive capabilities for data exchange and monitoring, but also for elaborate protection and data leak detection. Another important factor when dealing with users from the government sector is timeliness; authorities are constantly bombarded with services and solutions and have rigid roadmaps and procurement plans.

As service providers, we need to distinguish ourselves not just with our product portfolios, but by having a superior understanding of the public sector’s operational needs and purchase cycles. It’s vital to know when to approach public agencies with a sale, and to be ready for how long the integration process may take in order to be recognized as a preferred partner for smart government needs, emphasizing solutions and not just products.

Connectivity In The Near Future

Despite the aforementioned hurdles, governments usually include IoT in their annual plans in some form or shape. Currently, the percentage spent is rather negligible in terms of overall budgets; private sector undertakings in the same vein are certainly moving at a more rigorous pace in comparison, and the public domain has a lot of catching up to do.

However, with the rising trend in smart urban spaces and smart cities, there is a surge in joint IoT initiatives as public and private entities work together on shared goals for their locale. The Asia-Pacific nations take a lead here — as Amy Kean of Mindshare Asia Pacific recently mentioned, this region is most eager to adapt to a connected future. Satellite service providers likewise have a lot more to tap into when it comes to IoT offerings; the future is rife with possibilities to further develop resilient IoT platforms with AI, data mining, and big data capabilities, which will be especially beneficial for governments.

About the Author

As Thuraya’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jassem Nasser leads the strategy and business development division, which includes Corporate Strategy, M&A, and investigating new ventures outside the company’s core MSS business. Jassem also manages Thuraya’s Corporate Affairs, including Regulatory and Spectrum Management & Development. Jassem has over 16 years of experience in the satellite industry, including roles providing strategic direction and overseeing spectrum and frequency management. He has been involved in setting up and managing a start-up satellite organization and guiding the company through its various stages of development by devising strategic direction and priorities, identifying and selection strategic options. Jassem earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications Engineering with first class honors from Khalifa University (UAE).

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Thuraya and Wildlife Photography

Supporting Middle Eastern Photographers on Expedition in Maasai Mara

A lone cheetah chases a wildebeest herd, poised to pounce on its chosen prey. That raw moment is snapped and shared almost instantly across the world, right from the heart of Kenya’s Maasai Mara reserve.

Thanks to Emirati photographer Majed Al Katheeri and his team’s work in the wild, we at Thuraya get to showcase that rare capture on our social feeds.

On August 10, 2017, a  team of 7 photographers flew from Dubai to Kenya, ready to tough it out for a week in a wildlife sanctuary. As the trip was supported by Thuraya, the team - in addition to cameras - took along our satcom devices, which assured constant connectivity throughout their journey and gave them the ability to reach a global audience from a remote location.

Ahead of the trip, Al Katheeri notified followers with this Instagram post: “Tonight, a group of photographers start their Safari journey, to Maasai Mara in Kenya to photograph wildlife and witness one of the greatest wonders on the planet, The Great (wildebeest) Migration.”

Equipped with Thuraya’s IP+ broadband terminal, the photographers were able to get a steady connection amidst the savannah wilderness and share their rich, diverse safari experience along with its unique rhythms and stories. After hours spent camouflaging lenses to gain stunning dawn-to-dusk insight and visuals from the secret lives of zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards and more, the team - as Al Katheeri says - “invite friends and family to join in on appreciating the beauty of Africa.”

Thanks to the remote data access, we at home could truly envision and partake in Al Katheeris’ own moments from the reserve like this one: “A female leopard rests in a large fig tree in Maasai Mara. She was on top of a large bird nest, which seemed to annoy the bird who kept flying around, but the leopard couldn’t care less.”

Al Katheeri’s team included participants from other GCC countries and Jordan, namely Mohammed AlNaser, Abdulaziz AlAsousi, Husain AlFraid, Khalid Ebrahim, Mohammed Almoumni, and Ahmed AlMoumni. We at Thuraya are proud to have been a part of the Maasai Mara expedition and commend the team’s dedication and creativity in completing the project!

A trusted satcom partner for industries and individuals worldwide, Thuraya has years of experience in delivering communication over land, sea and air via a strong satellite network. Catering to diverse and customized needs, we offer satellite handsets and data terminals with advanced navigational capabilities that are compact, portable, affordable and promise uninterrupted coverage around two thirds of the globe. As a homegrown company, Thuraya is particularly keen to support UAE endeavors, and regularly invites opportunities to facilitate Emirati traditions in outdoor activities and wildlife explorations.

Learn more about how Thuraya supports outdoor enthusiasts and vacationers here.

To find out how our products can be useful for you, contact:

Thuraya Customer Care

From Thuraya network: 100
From other networks: +88216 100 100
Fax: +971 6 8828444



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Covering New Ground with Thuraya IP M2M

When there’s a need for innovation, Thuraya always rises to the challenge to meet it. A case in point - the recent launch of Thuraya IP M2M!

Our latest service is a robust M2M solution, designed to meet the market demand for IoT connectivity in remote locations that lie beyond-line-of-sight and outside the range of terrestrial networks. IP M2M supports high volume, high throughput machine-to-machine (M2M) applications and provides reliable, cost-friendly connectivity for operations that depend on the measurement and collection of large data amounts from inaccessible points and industrial zones.

As the service enables easy remote monitoring access, it lends exciting new possibilities to a number of sectors including oil and gas, utilities, government, banking, and renewable energy.

Here are a few IP M2M features that end-users can benefit from:

Easy Set Up
The service installation is relatively simple, given its high-end capabilities: IP M2M consists of a Thuraya IP+ terminal managed from the backend by a top-class Remote Terminal Management (RTM) platform, and is powered by Thuraya’s IP network with data speeds of up to 444 Kbps.

User Control Flexibility
The platform enables service optimization with an array of device and connectivity management features, including usage monitoring, connection control, firewall management, geo-fencing, usage traffic graphs and charts. Operators can view a terminal’s position, signal strength and current status, and can also reboot and configure the system remotely.

Diverse Applications, Multiple Industries
With IP M2M, Thuraya can deliver an extended range of solutions, including video- and image capturing for surveillance and security; real-time applications for oil and gas, smart-grid Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) recloser connectivity, environmental and water monitoring, and wind and solar farm monitoring.

Increasing Green Energy Efficiency
Specifically designed for swift connectivity between remote equipment, IP M2M accelerates the efficiency of operations in renewable energy production. The service empowers users with a smarter understanding of how appliances are working, enabling them to make faster decisions to boost the capacity of clean energy harvesting technology.

Enhances Future Possibilities
Thuraya’s new IP M2M service is our gateway into new market segments and enables us to further enhance our recent solutions for rural IoT, smart agriculture, smart metering, and cargo and shipping. To quote our CEO, Ahmed Ali Al Shamsi, “The Thuraya IP M2M service is one of the key components of our exciting FUTURA capability plans, and positions us well to effectively address the market requirements.”

Get more information on IP M2M here. | Learn more about Thuraya’s M2M technologies here.

To request a demo or find out how IP M2M can be useful for you, contact:

Thuraya Customer Care
From Thuraya network: 100
From other networks: +88216 100 100
Fax: +971 6 8828444


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Taking mission-critical satellite communications to the next level

Market Development Director, Fahad Kahoor shares valuable insights into Thuraya's suite of GovernmentComms products and solutions, which provide critical communications in the field. He calls attention to the special features of  CRYPTTIA, a unique command and control platform that allows smartphone users to utilize a unified Thuraya and cellular network for crisis management, defense and civil protection operations. 

You have recently opened an office in the US. Was that move to facilitate work on your ongoing FUTURA project and next generation constellation plans? 
Thuraya is already well established in the United States. We have a team supported by service providers and partners. In 2016, we launched M2M services in the USA with the introduction of the Thuraya FT2225 M2M terminal.

The new office located centrally between Washington D.C. and Tysons Corner, Virginia, offers close proximity to investors, key government and commercial customers and partners. It further brings the American team together, helping to serve these customers including the Department of Defense, which Thuraya counts among its list of longest standing customers. 

The new address marks a further step in the development of our ongoing FUTURA project and next generation constellation plans. 

Thuraya Headquarters in Dubai

Recently Thuraya and Indosat Ooredoo signed a Memorandum of Understanding. What are the objectives?
The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to develop a new range of services by combining Indosat products with Thuraya Satellite technology and devices for business customers in Indonesia.

The agreement has created a framework for collaboration in three main areas. New services will be developed using Indosat SIM cards roaming on the Thuraya network as well as bundling satellite devices with Indosat Ooredoo digital applications. At a later stage, Thuraya and Indosat also plan to develop additional use cases for the burgeoning IoT market.

The satellite-powered business applications allow organizations to extend their services beyond terrestrial networks, whenever they have remote connectivity requirements across various extreme environmental conditions. The full scope of markets now set for transformational communications capabilities across Indonesia includes oil and gas, and mining; plantations; high end yachting, merchants and fishing; military and police services. Thuraya’s extensive and reliable satellite network complements Indosat’s own connectivity, extending into those areas that are beyond terrestrial reach. This will enable both companies to offer a seamless customer experience. 

Thuraya's Connected Ambulance

Does Thuraya's 'Connected Ambulance' have any military applications?
The connected ambulance is an integrated telemedicine solution with a Thuraya IP Voyager terminal. It works over Thuraya’s extensive and reliable network, connecting onboard wired and wireless medical devices to hospitals and diagnosing physicians. It doesn’t have any military applications; however, it can be utilized by the military during critical missions, when personnel are injured and time is a matter of life and death.

What are Thuraya's latest applications for the defense sector?
Taking center stage is CRYPTTIA, a unique command and control platform developed by EYEONIX SA.

CRYPTTIA allows smartphone users to utilize a unified Thuraya and cellular networks for mission critical, crisis management, defense and civil protection operations. CRYPTTIA is a global platform combining both terrestrial and satellite voice technologies to bring push to talk services to smartphone users. 


CRYPTTIA is an IP-based end to end solution which offers “bring your own device” (BYOD) capability for fast and reliable communications in mission critical environments. It offers speed of deployment and ease of use. It is the only platform that can be fully operational, from scratch, in less than four hours as a mission critical unified system. 

The portable version, which is deployable in less than five minutes, serves as a fully operational command, control and decision support system. It requires less than one day to train mobile users, command and control center training is completed in three days, and administrator training takes five days.

NATO security-certified, CRYPTTIA guarantees optimal security for both call and data exchange, and is used for high level, top secret military intelligence and counter espionage. 
Agents are untraceable in the field, because of the unique task and incident management module, which can be automated and preconfigured, to coordinate a mission or an emergency automatically. 

CRYPTTIA is a speechless system: command center executives receive updates and task completion data through a configurable, color coded status level system. It can send and receive live images, and store and forward videos. When voice or text exchange is required, push to talk (PTT) voice and short message service communications for group and private users are always to hand.

Certified by Thuraya for added value system security and compliance, CRYPTTIA is a cost efficient solution that operates at a fraction of the cost of competing solutions.

With Application Interface (API) or Interface Control Document (ICD), CRYPTTIA can integrate third party networks (TETRA, DMR, UHF); platforms (command centers or surveillance systems); and unmanned platforms (UAVs, sUAVs and drones). CRYPTTIA delivers geolocation, tracking, and geofencing.

By upgrading their field smartphones, users can future proof their systems. Additional features include near field communication, man down alarm and lone fighter. For secure communication for highest level, mission critical use, CRYPTTIA offers end to end encryption through four layers of communication security. 

For more info on CRYPTTIA, please click here

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Thuraya partners with third-party suppliers of M2M- and SCADA-based services to provide superior IoT and telemetry solutions suited for our Government, Military, Energy, Enterprise and Relief customers. Connected to Thuraya’s IP broadband terminals and operable via our extensive L-band satellite network, the solutions use proprietary multi-processor architecture for swift and efficient tracking and monitoring, and critical data transfer from several assets in remote locations to one central hub.

Thuraya’s telemetry solutions provide round-the-clock monitoring in areas that do not have fixed infrastructure or may have ongoing work that is unattended. These applications are ideal for setting up wireless peripheries and stealth detection at borders or protected zones, as the sensors can identify ground vibrations and instantly notify HQ of any intrusion. Advanced algorithms also measure these vibrations to further notify the end-user of who or what has crossed the pre-defined border - people, animals or vehicles - and at what point.

TETRA over Satellite OR Radio over Satellite

Catering to a diverse range of communication requirements and channels, Thuraya partners with trusted brands to deliver comprehensive radio solutions via our satellite network.

Thuraya enables remote radio networks and push-to-talk radios to be unified with cellular or fixed lines, facilitating real-time, encrypted, optimized and direct voice and data communication to operations rooms or other networks within our extensive coverage area - beyond line-of-sight and across land and sea. These Radio over Satellite or Radio over IP (ROIP) solutions are easy to deploy and manage as they can be operated remotely and may often be left unattended, making them ideal for communication in harsh environments.

Government agencies, large enterprises, military, and NGOs greatly benefit from Thuraya’s radio solutions as they also have the flexibility of using their mobile radios or TETRA systems by easily linking them with Thuraya’s broadband terminals for swift two-way voice connectivity and deployment ease in city-wide operations.

IP Bonding

When it comes to efficient connectivity on-the-go, Thuraya constantly delivers leading-edge solutions through superior partner services that run on our uninterrupted satellite network. Remote and/or spread-out operations within the Energy, Government, Relief, Enterprise and Media sector rely on high-speed broadband access for the transfer of large assets without a compromise on security and data quality. With advanced VPN capabilities that also provide accelerated link management and compression, Thuraya enables optimized data exchange with cost efficiency and flexibility.

Our certified solutions are specifically tailored to meet the broadcast demands of international news agencies and promise a simple solution for correspondents on-location. With IP bonding capabilities of many different connections, Thuraya packs the power of an SNG truck into a backpack and ensures the delivery of HD - live or delayed - video streams from remote news sites to studios. The solutions balance the streams across multiple channels, require no additional encoder hardware and automatically adapts to the networks’ performance, promising an easy, steady transmission of data at the highest quality. End-users are further able to customize with the availability of larger transmission bandwidths, making Thuraya a go-to for seasoned journalists on the frontlines of breaking news coverage.

Tracking & Monitoring

Thuraya understands the requirements of our customers and appreciates the importance of delivering quick connectivity between assets and command centers for high-priority and/or widespread operations. The Marine, Military, Relief, Energy, and Enterprise sectors specifically take advantage of such technologies, as it is imperative for missions within these fields to keep a constant communication link between remote or spread out devices, vehicles and vessels.

Thuraya makes available advanced tracking and M2M data applications through third-party suppliers that use its global L-band satellite network to provide remote monitoring capabilities beyond the reach of terrestrial coverage. Merchant shipping, fishing, Government, Navy, Coast Guard and leisure users can enable vessel or fleet tracking and activity monitoring to keep up-to-date with remote cargo and equipment, navigation charts, arrival and departure information, fuel quality, ballast water procedures, and more. For civil defense, border patrolling, on-the-move and remote operations, Thuraya gathers instant information, including voice and HD video data, from multiple assets worldwide to HQs in order to swiftly deploy resources, efficiently communicate instructions, foster mission success and promote the safety of personnel.

Furthermore, our very own satellite phones are equipped with navigation capabilities that allow users to easily send SOS signals with automatic tracking data to emergency centers or pre-defined numbers in case of an unforeseen event.

With Thuraya, you’ll stay on a steady course with your detailed operation plans, however extensive it is.

Compression & Optimization

When it comes to connectivity on-the-go, Thuraya promises comprehensive solutions for fast and steady communication via its L-band satellite network. With multiple compression and optimization applications that cater to sector specifications, end-users are guaranteed a swift, smooth and secure text, voice, data and video experience with family, friends, colleagues and crew worldwide.

Compression and optimization are essential for relaying faster communication at lower costs and is critical to Marine, Government, Relief, Media, Enterprise and Energy operations where constant connectivity and data transfers between multiple, often remote locations are the norm. We offer competitive, user-definable airtime packages, especially within the maritime market; and our compression counterparts render data redundancy elimination, broadband management and faster internet access when paired with Thuraya’s advanced satellite IP broadband.

The web compression capabilities significantly reduce page load time and allow for quicker email exchanges, enabling time-sensitive data to be transferred with efficiency for mission success. Optimized link bonding further allows real-time HD video streaming by balancing the stream over multiple links, while encryption and VPN capabilities ensure that all communication is carried out over a secure, private network.

Trust Thuraya to help you transfer large assets with speed and ease.



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