Press Release

Customer Acceptance granted for Boeing-Built Thuraya Satellite Mobile Communications System

By SpaceRef Editor
February 4, 2002
Filed under , ,

Satellite Telecommunications Co. has assumed control of a turnkey
satellite mobile communications system designed and built by Boeing
Space and Communications.

Thuraya’s acceptance marks the successful culmination of Boeing’s
first effort to design and deliver an integrated mobile communications

The system built for United Arab Emirates-based Thuraya relies on
the high-power Thuraya-1 GEO-Mobile satellite delivered in October
2000 by Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS), the satellite-manufacturing
arm of Boeing S&C.

BSS also provided the requirements for the Thuraya ground station
and user handsets, which were delivered through a subcontract to
Hughes Network Systems, a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp. based in
Germantown, Md.

Thuraya Chief Executive Officer Yousuf Al Sayed described
Thuraya’s partnership with Boeing and Hughes as “exemplary” and said
it demonstrated “a successful working relationship that has
effectively brought together complex and diverse functions from
multiple suppliers towards a single purpose.”

Available to nearly one third of the globe, the Thuraya service
can provide blanket coverage to 99 countries in Europe, the Middle
East, North and Central Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Central
Asia, a landmass inhabited by an estimated 2.3 billion people.

“We are extremely proud to have reached this unprecedented
milestone with Thuraya,” said Keith Reiley, executive director of the
Thuraya program at BSS.

“This is a complete system unlike any other, with the most
advanced mobile communications payload flying today. With the end of
trial operations and this final acceptance now in place, we are fully
confident that Thuraya is satisfied with the technology, products and
services that we have supplied.”

Two Thuraya satellites were built under a $960 million contract
signed in September 1997. The first spacecraft was launched in October
2000 and Thuraya’s commercial service commenced in mid-2001. A second
Thuraya satellite has been built as a ground spare or to expand the
capacity of the system.

The satellite’s on-board digital signal processor combined with a
reflector provided by TRW Astro Aerospace enable the spacecraft to
handle tens of thousands of phone calls simultaneously. The Thuraya
digital signal processor, five times more capable than any previous
Boeing digital processor, has more computing power than 3,000 Pentium
III-based computers.

Thuraya is a leading regional mobile satellite telecommunications
company. Established in April 1997 in the UAE as a private joint stock
company, Thuraya has a shareholder base made up of 18 prominent
telecommunications operators and investment houses. Thuraya is a U.S.
$1 billion mobile satellite telecommunications project that will serve
about 100 nations in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Besides its integrated satellite-GSM handsets, Thuraya’s product
offerings include a vehicular adapter, a home docking unit for indoor
use and a fleet management system. For more information, visit Thuraya
on the Web at

Boeing Space and Communications (S&C), with headquarters in Seal
Beach, Calif., is the world’s largest space and communications
company. A unit of The Boeing Co., S&C provides integrated solutions
in launch services, human space flight and exploration, missile
defense, and information and communications.

It is NASA’s largest contractor; a leading provider of space-based
communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile
defense; and a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance. The global enterprise has customers worldwide and
manufacturing operations throughout the United States and Australia.

Note to Editors: Photos of the Thuraya spacecraft are available
upon request. A high-resolution rendering of the satellite is posted
on the Boeing Satellite Systems Web site at:

SpaceRef staff editor.