Global Airport News

Global Airport News

Mobile satellite service company Thuraya has announced its formal entrance into the aeronautical market with the introduction of "reliable and cost-effective" communications for all aircraft types.

The UAE-based firm says its initial narrowband offering provides voice, fax and 9.6 Kbps circuit switch data, and is already installed and operational onboard over 200 helicopters and business jets.

However, Thuraya plans to introduce a complete portfolio of connectivity solutions based on hardware developed by French-based aeronautical services specialist Satsys and sold under the Thuraya AviationComms brand.

The AviationComms terminal features "a small antenna" and is "very light weight," which results in "significant weight and fuel saving compared to traditional terminals", says Thuraya.

A broadband terminal is currently in development and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. Thuraya claims that the new terminal "will provide higher data speeds of up to 444 Kbps in standard mode and up to 384 Kbps in streaming mode, as well as voice and optional onboard GSM services".

By comparison, Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband aeronautical service supports data rates of about 432 Kbps.

"Thuraya is proud to launch this service in a thriving sector such as the aeronautical communications. Like most of our products, we have ensured that the new solutions are compact, user-friendly, lightweight and affordable. This move reflects Thuraya's dynamic growth and expansion into new vertical markets," says Thuraya chief strategy officer Sultan Ahmed Al Ghafli.

Thuraya currently provides mobile satellite services in more than 140 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.