External Handset Antenna

The external antenna provides improved satellite signal reception when used on the move (e.g. in boats or cars) or in areas at the edge of the Thuraya coverage. Simply connect the antenna cable with the SatSleeve and place the magnetic mounted antenna in a position with direct line of sight to the Thuraya satellite.

The antenna is a magnetic mounted passive antenna which is IP66 rated and comes with a 5m antenna cable. It does not require pointing towards the satellite and the rugged design ensures a reliable performance even in harsh conditions.  

Specifications:

  • Frequency: 1525 - 1660.5 MHz
  • Impedance: 50 ohm
  • Color: White (glossy)
  • Diameter: 111 mm
  • Mounting: Magnetic
  • Height Above Roof: 36.5 mm
  • Operating Temperature: -40°C to +70°C
  • Ingress Protection: IP66  
  • Compatible handsets: Thuraya X5-Touch, XT-PRO DUAL, XT-PRO, XT-LITE, XT, SatSleeves

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Useful Solutions

Meet us at Satellite 2016

Pioneering, Innovative Mobile Satellite Services

Please join members of the Thuraya team on booth #1523 at the Gaylord National Convention Center, National Harbor, MD.

Thuraya executives will be at the booth to share plans for the rest of the year and beyond, and to talk about the company’s recent launches, including Thuraya XT-PRO, Thuraya SatSleeve+, Thuraya SatSleeve Hotspot and Thuraya Atlas IP. The Thuraya team will also be happy to talk about our extensive range of award-winning products and solutions, which serve the government, relief, marine, energy, enterprise, leisure and media sectors.

Members of the Thuraya team are also speaking on a number of industry panels spanning a range of interesting subjects. Please see the schedule below, to make sure you do not miss out on the opportunity to hear them. 

Bilal El Hamoui
Chief Commercial Officer

Modularity: New Mass-Market Technologies for Satellite-Enabled Smartphones
Location: Woodrow Wilson B-D
Monday, March 7 @ 3:15 PM

Randy Roberts
Chief Innovation Officer

Satellite, M2M and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Baltimore 1-2
Tuesday, March 8 @ 10:45 AM

Jassem Nasser
Chief Strategy Officer

Mapping the Middle East's New Satellite Ecosystem
Location: Baltimore 3-5
Wednesday, March 9  @ 9:45 AM

Will ecosystems become the basis of competition in a digital world driven by IoT?

What does a 9th century scholar and algebra have to do with ecosystems, digitization and IoT? Well, a good guess would be that Al Khwarizmi, the father of algebra, also invented the algorithm. However, in our case the link we are looking for lies in the system at Bayt al hikma, Baghdad’s house of wisdom, which helped make those inventions possible.

With paper making technology from China and a translation infrastructure, Baghdad’s house of wisdom significantly reduced barriers for scholars to access knowledge. As more scientific texts from Persia, India, China and Greece were sourced and translated to Arabic, more scientific knowledge was leveraged by more scholars. These scholars’ innovations generated greater prosperity for the translation movement to attract new translators to source and translate more texts.

It was in this environment that the scholar Al Khwarizmi combined Greek mathematics based on geometry with Indian mathematics based on calculations to create a disruptive way of thinking in mathematics.

Al Khwarizmi merged visual intuition from geometry with precision from calculations, by representing numbers as symbols such as X and manipulating them with the precision of calculations, to solve problems like X+1=2. We commonly know this new unifying way of mathematical thinking as algebra.       

In the same way algebra unified mathematics and changed the way we represented and solved problems in many sciences, digitization (the process of converting books, audio, video into ones and zeroes) has unified the representation of information. Digitization is currently changing product development and distribution to such an extent as to alter the basis of competition. The McKinsey Global Institute identified the digital economy as being the second economy the first being the economy resulting from the industrial revolution. By 2025, McKinsey has estimated, the second economy will be as large as the global economy was in 1995 (when the digitization age was about to begin).

Digital companies like Amazon and Google have pampered their customers to the point where all other businesses are now expected to provide almost limitless choice of products and services at a speed and a low cost. No firm can deliver this equation of choice, speed and low cost alone. Companies are realizing the only solution is to create an ecosystem of thousands of partners. Thuraya, for instance, bundles products with those of its technology partners to offer complete and differentiated solutions, while relying on a network of service partners to distribute its solutions. Thanks to its partnerships, Thuraya competes as effectively as it does against much larger rivals in the industry.

The formula for synthetizing ecosystems requires two elements:

  • An enabling technology/platform - reducing barriers of entry for users and innovators and empowering them to develop new solutions.
  • An operational model - creating economic network effects, fostering relationships between and among innovators and users. 

Network effects create a positive feedback loop where the value of the ecosystem increases with the number of participants. There are two types of network effects: 

  • Same-side network effects - where the number of participants from one category impacts the ecosystem’s capacity to attract new participants from the same category. For example, as more people use WhatsApp, the more interesting it becomes for other people to use WhatsApp. In sum, more users attract more users.
  • Cross-side network effects where the number of participants from one category affects the ecosystem’s ability to attract participants from another category. As more innovators create more solutions inside an ecosystem, more users find solutions within that ecosystem, growing the potential user base for solutions. This in turn will attract more innovators. In summary, more innovators attract more users, and vice versa.

The cross-side network effects between translators and scholars  as well as the enlightened and inclusive system in place in ninth century Baghdad helped Bayt al hikma source a great deal of the world’s knowledge, making it accessible to a growing pool of scholars. Those scholars then made new discoveries in medicine, astronomy and other scientific areas.

Can companies successfully apply the same formula in IoT? The short answer is it’s still too early to tell what formula will work.  IoT can be conceptualized as a network of heterogeneous hardware (“things”) with software enabling developers, data scientists and other innovators to generate insight and create inventive interactions from “things”. Currently, the number of connected “things” is growing at a rate several times higher than the number of innovators. In parallel, partly due to a lack of standardization, many companies have their own view of IoT and are looking to carve out their own IoT ecosystem with their own proprietary software stack/platform.

All of these factors are leading to a situation famously described by an app developer just before the arrival of the iPhone of “three million platforms with a hundred users each”. Yet Apple and Google have managed, even with closed platforms, to outcompete rivals. They did this by significantly reducing barriers to entry for developers and users through iOS and Android platforms while linking them together through the App Store and Google Play. This approach generated both same-side and cross-side network effects.

Now, in IoT, several companies have reduced barriers of entry for innovators and users alike, and they have created direct links between these two groups. With a growing bottleneck on innovators, firms may only be able to attract a limited number of innovators. They will need to look at other methods for generating cross-side networks effects. One idea is to create direct links between different platforms, which could result in a framework more attractive for both innovators and users in each platform. However, relationships need some level of integration, which in turn requires platforms to be more standardized and open, which runs counter to current operating models in IoT.

In Baghdad, linking geometry and calculations to create algebra didn’t make geometry or calculations disappear. Instead, the link was mutually beneficial to mathematicians, who developed new mathematical tools; and to those other scientists who used the same tools to model new phenomena across the natural sciences.

In looking ahead to what might be possible if we adopt a constructive and collaborative way of working, we are well advised to look to such examples from the past. 

 

Marouane Sefiani
IoT Consultant
Thuraya

Thuraya Increases Maritime Portfolio with Launch of Atlas IP

Joining the SF2500, Seagull and Orion IP, Atlas IP is an easy to install terminal which offers managers and crew seamless access to the internet, enhanced connectivity, and high-speed onboard efficiency with best-in-class data rates.

Randy C. Roberts, Chief Innovation Officer, Thuraya Telecommunications, said: “As well as driving operational efficiency, ships can now be transformed into remote offices with very little effort. We are offering customers a reliable and efficient data connection point that makes it easy to manage internet connectivity and reduces operational costs. While ships stay connected, crew welfare improves at the same time.”

The terminal features a single cable connection to the stabilized antenna, direct bulkhead mounting, and built-in Wi-Fi. Atlas IP has been tested in a variety of marine environments and regions to ensure it lives up to its promise of being a ‘lifeline’ to the maritime sector.

The Demand for Autonomous Ships

When it comes to the adoption of everything technology can offer the maritime sector, it can sometimes be a case of mind over matter. While there can be technical matters to overcome, it is often more about the attitudes that need to change most if maritime is to see the levels of benefit being enjoyed in other industries.

Shipping has already been disrupted by shifts in trade patterns as well as the impact of the financial crisis, and it will continue to be affected both by internal and external forces in the future.

One such force - and it is a force for good - is communications technology, a major contributor in the battle towards crew efficiency, improved safety standards and a secure working environment.

Maritime crews rely on communications tools every day, and for a sector that is the life and soul of the global economy - 90% of all goods are transported by sea – it is imperative that investment in this area is cost effective. Costs can be reduced significantly if thinking is changed, with real alternatives available for those willing to invest in technology.  

The maritime sector is worth US$350-400 billion and it boasts more than one million employees. That includes people working at sea, shipyard and dock workers, and equipment manufacturers. Initially, one might expect this sector to be among the first to adopt such ground-breaking technology like autonomous ships.

Yet, the majority of trials and tests related to unmanned vehicles are on drones and driverless cars, while progress with autonomous ships is comparatively slow. Automated systems and interaction with onboard sensors, GPS and satellite communication equipment are already available but why is the industry taking so long to buy into this concept of autonomous ships?

Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) operate in a 3D environment in which strict regulations must be observed and weather conditions need to be taken into account. Similarly, driverless cars operate in an environment dominated by humans going about their daily lives. Ships, however, operate in a predominantly 2D environment that is sparsely populated in comparison and could benefit the most from this unmanned concept.  However, investments and advancements in technology for maritime appear way down the list of priorities for shipping companies.

Military drones are currently the most developed of the unmanned technological vehicles to date. These are ideal for tackling monotonous, dangerous tasks such as reconnaissance or lethal missions where very little additional frontline support is given. This raises the question of why the transition to using autonomous ships isn’t moving full steam ahead when maritime crews also face both monotonous and dangerous tasks.

It is important to consider the positive social impact that autonomous ships could have on countries like the Philippines, a huge provider of crews to the shipping industry. Maritime crew often spend months at sea and can be away from their families for long periods of time. The impact of work-related stress – monotonous routines, harsh and hazardous working environments, a negligible social life, can take its toll on even the most experienced of crew members resulting in both physical and psychological issues.

Unmanned vehicles not only affect those out at sea but also those who supply services and equipment to support them. There is a cause and a reaction to shipping. We know that the more containers that fit on a ship, for example, the cheaper it is to move them, which helps increase efficiency, creates a faster turnaround time and potentially saves the port, the shipping company as well as local manufacturers, money.

Unmanned ships have to be monitored and need to communicate with a central hub via satellite. This calls into question the various frequencies and bandwidths being used by satellite operators and how this has a knock-on effect on autonomous ships.

Medium frequencies such as C-band provide higher bandwidths (speeds) and are reasonably resilient to rainfall and atmospheric conditions. There are limited new spectrums available to satisfy this type of infrastructure, however, and the potential of interference from other systems such as radars.

Higher frequencies are affected by rainfall either on the ship side or at the satellite ground station. However, the advantage of a higher frequency band is that it allows faster rates to transmit and receive data.

However, frequency bands such as L-band, used by Thuraya, have the advantage of a robust link that can bypass adverse weather. L-band provides lower data rates compared to K-band but offers a more cost-effective solution for asset tracking and fleet management.

Concerns surrounding the implementation of autopilots, anti-collision radars, built-in test and monitoring systems, as well as navigation, could be overcome if these factors are integrated into a reliable and coherent system that allows individual sub-systems to work together with limited human intervention.

Ship owners and managers would also be able to save space and weight by eliminating equipment required to support personnel. This could lead to the reallocation and increase of cargo, driving higher revenues.

Internal and external security threats are also a top line concern. Such threats include the pilfering of cargo and the sale of it on the black market as well the threat of piracy in high risk areas such as the Horn of Africa, Somalia and in the South China Sea. In most cases such threats can be reduced by vessel tracking and video feeds via satellite, transmitted back to HQ. Such tracking and video feeds also provide evidence for prosecution cases and insurance claims. At the most basic level, these vessel tracking and video feeds can act as effective deterrents.

Fortunately, major incidents such as the terrorist attack against the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985 are few and far between, but the notion of terrorist organisations seizing financial assets and growing stronger roots in the piracy trade remains a real threat. Crews being kidnapped and used as human shields, or ransomed along with the cargo, could become a thing of the past if autonomous ships become part of our lives.

The shipping industry needs to take a more radical mindset to grasp the benefits of technology opportunities such as autonomous ships. Traditionally, the maritime sector is very conservative when adopting new technology and while ‘tried and tested’ methods serve as a valuable indicator, what the industry ultimately needs is a fundamental change in how ships are operated.

As with Google cars, Uber, Spotify, and Facebook - today’s shipping industry needs to look at the latest technological advancements in communication and navigation - and what they have to offer. Inevitably, this will be driven by economics and it is important to get the economics right. Those that do this will reap the true cost benefits available by investing into this game-changing technology. 

Keith Murray
Product Manager - Maritime
Thuraya

Thuraya Inks Online Retail Deal

Following the successful launch campaign of the SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot, Thuraya extended the delivery of its products in the retail market thanks to a groundbreaking agreement with leading online retailer Expansys. The agreement was designed to support the launch of a new generation of SatSleeve models – SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot - which build on the original SatSleeve concept by offering greater choice, improved quality and a new hotspot option.

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Thuraya is again leading in innovation by developing new ways to deliver its full SatSleeve product family to key target markets, which extend to a consumer audience alongside key enterprise sectors. SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot appeal to travellers, adventurers and outdoor sportspeople, as well as anyone who simply wants the assurance that their smartphone will connect even when terrestrial networks are unavailable or damaged.

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The Expansys agreement means that SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot will be available immediately in 28 countries across Europe. The full scope of the Expansys distribution agreement also means that Thuraya SatSleeve models will be available in high profile third party online stores, such as Amazon, Orange and Carrefour.

The agreement marks new ground for Expansys too: this is the first time the online retailer has offered satellite handset devices.

Thuraya and Expansys will also deliver an extensive range of marketing support throughout the year, including complementary cross-selling opportunities as well as the depth of a sustained online demand generation campaign.

Core government, media, energy, and NGO sectors remain important targets for the new SatSleeve product family.  This new online retail campaign will run in parallel with continuing support through existing distribution partners, as well as innovative agreements Thuraya has developed with mobile network operators (MNOs) in key markets. 

Q & A

Alexander Lachner, Senior Product Manager, answers your questions on the powerful and robust, XT-PRO

What is the difference between the Thuraya XT-PRO and the Thuraya XT-LITE?

The Thuraya XT-PRO is designed for the professional user and is a fully-fledged satellite phone with the most advanced features in the industry. The main customer segments are Enterprise, Energy, Relief, Government, Media, and Marine.

The Thuraya XT-Lite is designed for the casual and price-sensitive user and for those users who require mainly Voice and SMS capability. This would predominantly be Leisure Communications, Small Enterprise, Traders, Fishermen or as backup for disaster situations.

What makes the Thuraya XT-PRO a rugged phone?

The XT-PRO uses advanced materials for ingress protection to make it a really tough phone. The connectors and joints are protected from water and dust ingress. The case is made with Gorilla® glass which allows the phone to withstand drops onto concrete surfaces. Since satellite phones are mostly used in harsh environments, the phone was built and certified to be jet water, dust, and shock proof.

What is special about the XT-PRO’s display?

As well as having a Gorilla® glass screen for ruggedness, the XT-PRO has the largest screen on any satellite phone in the industry. The customized display is glare resistant which is important when used in direct sunlight. It also has a brightness sensor that reduces the backlight in dark environments and increases it in sunlight.

What about the navigation systems on the XT-PRO?

For the first time on a satellite phone, customers can now select their preferred navigation system and choose between GPS (American), BeiDou (Chinese) and Glonass (Russian) navigation systems for the highest accuracy and flexibility in all regions.

The Thuraya XT-PRO allows users to create and manage waypoints. These can be used to navigate from a fixed location to various waypoints, showing the distance and direction to each. In addition, the coordinates can be sent by SMS or email to another person to inform them of the current location. This function can also be automated so the location data will be sent in freely programmable intervals which also allows to create a route map of a journey.

What is the talk time and standby time of the Thuraya XT-PRO?

Thuraya XT-PRO enables reliable communications with a long-lasting battery which provides the longest talk-time on any satellite phone, up to 9 hours talk time and up to 100 hours standby time.

What safety features does the Thuraya XT-PRO have?

The XT-PRO has a dedicated SOS button which is easy to use in times of distress. Even when the phone is switched off, simply press and hold the SOS button for 3 seconds. This starts the phone and triggers the emergency service (call and/or SMS) to any pre-programmed number.

The SOS function works even if the phone is switched off as long as the phone has an unobstructed line of sight to the sky.

Has XT-PRO delivered out in the field since launch?

The XT-PRO has stood up to everything the real world can throw at it, with no dip in performance. Our customers are delighted by its consistency and reliability.

Whether you’re climbing snow-capped mountains in the Alps or working on an oil rig, the XT-PRO’s rugged and robust design is not only flexible, it is built for the harshest of environments. Jet water and dust resistant, as well as shock proof, Thuraya’s omni-directional antenna ensures an uninterrupted signal. With full walk-and-talk capability, XT-PRO lets you receive call notifications – even when the XT-PRO is in your pocket with your antenna stowed.

Which other features are important on the XT-PRO?

The XT-PRO has a list of additional features and functionalities which help to make the phone user-friendly. It has a speakerphone for hands-free communications, a Micro-USB charging connector which is easily interchangeable and it can also be connected to a laptop or PC to use the satellite data connection to check e-mails or use basic web browsing. In addition, it has a calendar function, alarms, notes, address book, speed dialing, conference calls, world time, calculator, stopwatch, and many more features. 

Thuraya Partner Satisfaction Survey

Awards

Proud to be driving innovation in the mobile satellite industry, Thuraya has been recognized for our game-changing products and dedication to innovation. Click on the links below to learn more about the awards and accolades we’ve received. 

 

MSUA Innovation Award (2019)

Satellite PRO MSS Operator of the Year (2017)

 
 

 

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