Thuraya restores services to SEA and China after Thuraya 3 failure

Thuraya restores services to SEA and China after Thuraya 3 failure

UAE-based satellite operator Yahsat announced that it has successfully restored services to Thuraya’s satellite customers in southeast Asia and most of China after its Thuraya 3 satellite went offline in mid-April.

Thuraya 3, located in the 98.5° E geostationary orbital slot, provides L-band mobile satellite services predominantly over South and East Asia and the Pacific region. Yahsat reported on April 16 that the satellite had experienced an “unexpected payload anomaly” that knocked out services for Thuraya 3’s coverage area. By early May, Yahsat acknowledged that while the satellite remains under control, it is no longer usable. 

Yahsat said on Friday that Thuraya services have now been restored in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Western Malaysia, Western Indonesia, Singapore and majority of China, and is witnessing a traffic increase in both voice and packet services in those markets.

According to media reports, Yahsat achieved this by shifting services over to its Thuraya 2 satellite at 44° E over East Africa, and reconfiguring it to cover the above service areas.

However, that also means that Asia Pacific customers east of Thuraya 2’s footprint are out of luck. Thuraya’s Australian service partner Pivotel confirmed on Friday that Thuraya services were permanently closed in Australia, and offered to move its customers to Iridium and Inmarsat at considerable discounts.

Thuraya 3 was placed in orbit in 2008 with a designed service life of 15 years, which expired early last year. Thuraya 2 has been in orbit since 2003 with a designed service life of 12 years.

Yahsat said in its statement that Thuraya “remains fully focused on recovering services in the remaining impacted Asia Pacific territories”.


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