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Thuraya outage shows dangers of relying on geostationary satellites

Satphones require satellites, and the two main types of satellite constellation are geostationary and LEO, or low earth orbit. The latter means lots of satellites orbiting at low altitudes, and the former a very few satellites orbiting at higher elevations. In the case of the Thuraya network, there’s only two satellites which cover most of the globe:

One of the problems with having very few satellites is an outage hits hard. Right now, as of 24th April, Thuraya 2 has been out for a few days, with a restore to service plan of 25/4 UTC:

Source: Pivotel

So, you can’t use your Thuraya phone in Australia now, or for the time being. This is why I prefer LEO constellations which don’t have a similar SPOF, or Single Point of Failure. Sure, there could still be an outage, but something on the ground can be fixed a lot easier than something in orbit.

More on how to choose your remote comms solutions here:

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