Thuraya - The Inner Working's

by Peter Davidson on Nov 16, 2023

‘Our 5 cents on…’ what to expect from the Thuraya Satellite Network.

Thuraya is one of the newest networks to market operating via Geostationary Satellite. It offers a low-cost monthly call plan and excellent voice-quality service. You need to keep the antenna pointing to the satellite, to ensure a consistent connection and voice quality. This is more critical in Tasmania than in Broome. We have used it in both locations, call for a chat. The XT-Lite is my phone of choice and is excellent value for money. The XT-Lite is perfect for Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, western Queensland and north-western New South Wales and for most travel west of the Great Dividing Range.

We like the stationary satellite systems, in the case of Thuraya, their satellite for our region is 35,000km above Sumatra, which means the satellite is at a very usable angle for the central, north and western regions of Australia (i.e. elevation above horizon: Alice Springs 41oNW, Hobart 20oNW, Cape York 38oW and Perth 48oNW).

In the southeast of Australia, it’s not our first choice as the lower elevation angle makes it challenging to operate. In Tasmania and Victoria, it works but you will need to be near the top of any hills. We have used it sailing down the entire east coast of Australia to Tasmania and it works well – obviously, no hills out there. The phones are quite simple to use, however, your voice or the callers may fade out (and return) if you walk around with the phone. The call quality is the best on the market, but you will need the antenna to be pointing in the general direction of the Satellite during calls, and this gets more critical as you travel further East. 

All you need to do is find a clear line of sight to the satellite and you can talk with great voice quality uninterrupted for as long as you wish, knowing that the satellite will not move or be obscured by a hill or trees during your conversation.

Travelling overseas…?  The Thuraya service is an excellent option for Indonesia and Vietnam through Middle East to West Africa.

Thuraya Coverage Map:

Thuraya Coverage Map