Thuraya Sat phones.

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 11:22
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Hi all, am looking to update my Sat Phone and am considering the new Thuraya phones and was wondering if anyone in EO world has some qualified feedback/info on them, is the coverage at least as good as Iridium? Cheers, Kanga1.
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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 13:12

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 13:12
Hi Kanga1, we went through this last year and was looking at the Thuraya phone, did all the advantages and disadvantages and finished up with the Iridium.

The big problem with the Thuraya was that you had to find the satellite with it, meaning you had to point the antenna a certain direction to where the satellite is. (had enough problems with Globalstar with that.)

The plus with the Thurya is if you are changing from Globalstar (which is what we did) you could keep your current number, it's very light and compact, rumour at the time was that they were having a few problems with the handsets but that could be ironed out by now. Thuraya was also cheaper. As far as how good it actually is, having chosen the Iridium I can't comment on that but heard it was OK.

The Iridium has been good, the major problem with that one is having to have the International number, can become expensive for the person calling you, however there are ways around that as well.

We went into a place in Osborne Park here in WA and the girl there was fantastic, they sold both phones and she helped us decide which phone was best for us, she gave us all the bad and good of each phone, we were very impressed with her service.

All in all the main reason we didn't take the Thuraya was because we had so many headaches with the Golbalstar/ Pivotel, we didn't want to chance problems again so went with the tried and trusted.

Hope that helps a little

Cheers

D


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Follow Up By: Member - lyndl b (WA) - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 14:51

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 14:51
Hi D, we are also in Perth W.A. and are looking into Sat Phones for our trip. What was the name of the store and location if you have it avail? Cheers, Jeff & Lyndl
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 15:23

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 15:23
Hi Jeff & Lyndl, have just sent you a MM.

I'm having a few computer problems at the moment so if you don't get the MM let me know.

BTW Welcome as new members.

Cheers

D


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Follow Up By: x - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 16:41

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 16:41
D

I seemed to have the opposite experience to you.

In actual use I found the Globalstar (Ericsson R290) very easy and reliable. I never had to point at satellites as you did.

I sold my original phone but purchased a new Telstra Iridium a couple of years ago.

The delay using geostationary sats makes conversation akin to using a two way radio. Dropouts happen fairly often.

If I had the two phones side by side I reckon I'd pick up the R290 in preference because of the ease of conversation.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 18:55

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 18:55
Hi x posted, we had the Qalcom handset and it wasn't a case of pointing it in a certain direction to find a Satellite, it was a case of "Is there one up there anywhere pleeeeeeeeeease?" We liked the handset we had, it was easy to use and so clear, it also was OK in the Southern half of the country, it seemed to find a sat somewhere but useless up the North which is where you want it to work and where we had our emergencies, it wouldn't pick up the Sats and after two trips and two different emergencies it was time to get rid of Globalstar/ Pivotel.

We have used the Iridium and have no problem with it at this point, there is no delay either so we are obviously happy with the deal.

If you do a search on here on Globalstar you will find quite a lot of info on it.

Glad all is well with your phone.

Cheers

D


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Reply By: Kanga1 - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 10:22

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 10:22
Cheers for the responses guys, the Jury is still out re deciding, we had an Iridium 9505A phone for our trip last year and sold it to "update" it this year, Dunworkin do you have the car with the same registration plate "DUNWORKIN" in the Golden Bay area? I see it around and wonder. Thanks again. Happy Trails, Kanga1.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 10:31

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 10:31
"Is the coverage at least as good as Iridium"

Surely you answered your own question??
Its coverage you want and need first and foremost and if you know that the Iridium system provides the best it begs the question as to why you would consider anything else??

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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 12:28

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 12:28
Hi John, I don't know who provides the satellites for the Thuraya phones, or how good their global coverage is, I do know that their phones are smaller and will likely have a much shorter phone number and may also do as your normal phone ( I think they have the same phone number as your normal GSM cell phone) I am just trying to learn as much about it to make a decision on which to buy. Cheers Kanga1
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 13:04

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 13:04
Thuraya use the Optus satellite, I thinks its only one Sat in Geo Stationary orbit??

Iridium utilise a network of 66.
Look Here for details on the Iridium System.

Iridium have also released a new handset, the 9555 look Here for details.

And remember Google is your friend, heaps of info out there on all systems is you spend a little time doing a search.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 13:56

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 13:56
Taken from the 9555 handset's website:

"It won’t play games, take pictures, or play MP3s"

Well what's the point of that?

I suppose all it does is make phone calls in the nick of time to get you out of trouble !!??
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 14:03

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 14:03
Hi Stephen
LOL maybe Rudd needs one right now as he just revised the tax take shortfall predicted last November at $40 Billion has just been revised up by an additional $75 Billion to a total predicted shortfall of $115 Billion.

I think thats trouble enough to warrant a phone call or two and a phone that won't let him play games is probably just what he needs at the moment :-))

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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:03

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:03
"I don't know who provides the satellites for the Thuraya phones, or how good their global coverage is,"

It's a single satellite in a fixed position in the sky. If you can't "see" it from where you are, you will NEVER make contact. This is a problem mainly in South East Australia, because it's only 20 degrees above the horizon.

At least with Iridium, if you're in a deep gully, you will get your message out within an hour or two.
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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:10

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:10
That is worth knowing, "1 satellite and 20 degrees above horizon" Western Australia is mainly flat, but we do have some rather big holes in it. Cheers Mike, Kanga1.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:14

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:14
It's 20 degrees above the horizon if you're in South East Australia - in WA it's a lot higher in the sky.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 11:11

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 11:11
While not directly related to coverage, ease of use etc, and even tho I dislike Telstra immensely, I couldn't buy a phone that operates thru Optus because the majority owner of Optus is the Singapore Govt.

At least with Telstra, scumbags tho they are, they are Australian.

Just my 2 bobs worth (probably worth less than that).

cheers

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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 12:31

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 12:31
Gone bush, thanks for the info, I didn't realise that Thuraya phones use an Optus Satellite network for their operation, Cheers, Kanga1.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:16

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:16
Though the satellite network that Telstra uses is Iridium, which is totally foreign owned.

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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:22

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:22
Yep, owned by the US military.

I'd rather pay them a few bob and keep them onside.

Might need them again one day.

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Follow Up By: Member - Zig (WA) - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 21:22

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 21:22
Thuraya is NOT working on any Optus satellite. They operate their own satellites, Thuraya 3 covers Australia and SE Asia. It is owned my a Middle Eastern mob. UAE based.
They is probably working on the Optus GSM when in range.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 14:04

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 14:04
Kanga,

depending on how long you expect to be out of normal Next G Telstra coverage (if that's what your normal mobile uses) you can put your Next G SIM into the Iridium handset and use your normal mobile number.

This also means no contract, no monthly fees. You just need to buy the handset outright.

cheers

ps sorry about the excessive use of the word "normal". That's not normal.

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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:06

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:06
GB, sounds like a cunning plan, I will hunt up the relevant info on the Iridium 9555 and see what sort of accessories are available ie roof mount antenna and in car hands free, 12 v plug for recharging battery etc. thanks again everyone for the input and info. Cheers Kanga1.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:23

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:23
yes Kanga, a cunning stunt.

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