General Thuraya Questions:
1. Where does Thuraya work? Thuraya was established in 1997 and launched commercial mobile satellite service in 2001. It is a regional mobile satellite system that serves over 140 countries. Thuraya's footprint includes large parts of the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East, Central Asia, Northern and Central Africa, and Europe. Some Thuraya phone models also support GSM-cellular-mode calls. Thuraya's satellites are in geosynchronous orbit, positioned 36,000 km above the earth. The primary Thuraya gateway is located in Sharjah, UAE, and acts as the operation center for the mobile satellite system. Depending on the model and service types selected various Thuraya phone models provide voice, G3 fax, 9.6 kbps circuit-switched data, always-on-type GmPRS internet access up to 60 kbps on download, and two-way short messaging.
2. How do I check my balance and recharge my Prepaid Thuraya account? Check your prepaid account balance by dialing short code 151. It is a free call. To reload, you will first need to purchase prepaid Scratch Codes in 50 or 160-unit increments. To purchase Scratch Codes, click here. You can also purchase vouchers by calling our Customer Service department at 615-889-8833 (U.S. Office) during regular business hours. Each "unit" you load onto your prepaid account equals "one dollar" of Thuraya service available on your prepaid account. Unless you specify otherwise, we will deliver your 14-digit Scratch Card PIN code via email. To apply a Scratch Card PIN to your prepaid account, dial short code 150. There is also no charge for this call. An automated voice system will guide you through the process. You will receive a recharge confirmation, followed by your credit status. Alternatively, you can apply a Scratch Card PIN using SMS messaging. To do this, send an SMS to 150. The SMS message content should be the # 14-digit PIN code #. The # symbol needs to be at the beginning and the end of the message, and there should be no spaces. You will receive a recharge confirmation.
3. How do I initialize a Thuraya Prepaid SIM for first time use? Follow these steps to initialize your Thuraya SIM card for first time use. The menu options on different model Thuraya phones may vary, but this procedure will work for all.
- Method 1: Reset the Thuraya phone to factory settings 2. Go to "System Preference" and select "Sat Only". Go to navigation and select the current position and obtain GPS coordinates (be in a clear area and wait up to 10 minutes) 4. Once you can see the GPS coordinates, go back to the main screen and you should see "Thuraya + Country name". This means you have a link to the Thuraya satellite. Call 150 and follow the instructions to initialize the SIM card on the Thuraya network.
- Method 2: If you don't see your country name in Method 1 above, then go to Menu -> Network -> Search mode -> Manual -> OK and wait until "Thuraya" appears on the screen. Once "Thuraya" appears on the screen, select it and the phone will start requesting for the network. Eventually, after the "Requesting" process, "Thuraya + the country name you are in" appears on the screen. This can take up to 30 minutes. Once this is complete try calling 150 to check that you can make calls.
5. Does Thuraya support GSM cellular service? The following Thuraya satellite phones support dual-mode Thuraya satellite mode and also GSM cellular mode: HNS-7100, HNS-7101, and SG-2520 and XT-DUAL. The customer is advised that the Thuraya satellite-mode rates shown in their service agreements do not apply to calls made in GSM cellular mode. The rates and billing increments for GSM-mode calls can vary dramatically when the user roams onto different GSM regional operators. It is not unusual for GSM cellular operators in third world countries to actually charge more for a cellular-mode call than the cost of Thuraya-satellite-mode calls. In GSM mode, rates for making or receiving voice or data calls or sending or receiving SMS messages are subject to change without notice. Finally, not all GSM operators support all features of any given Thuraya model phone, so some functionalities may not work in GSM cellular mode.
6. How do I use the voice mail service? The Voice Mail Service (VMS) from Thuraya works like an answering machine and stores messages when you have your phone switched off or the line is busy. The symbol shown to the right indicates that a message is stored in your voice mailbox. (Note: some service providers do not support the symbol indicator). You can listen to it by dialing the short code 1,2,3. Alternately, select Menu then Messages and then Listen Voicemail or press the symbol below for two seconds.
7. What do I do if I cannot make a call? When making and receiving calls with the Thuraya satellite phone, sometimes no connection can be established and therefore no calls can be made. This problem is caused by poor signal from the Thuraya satellite or the fact that you are in a bad position such as between or inside buildings, in heavily wooded areas. Doing one of the following two actions often can solve these problems:
» Sat registration - The Thuraya Satellite telephone has an automatic mode for registering with the satellite when switching the telephone on. When no registration is made (the little satellite in the top right corner of the display keeps blinking or the displayed service area is wrong), you can try this again manually by going into the option Network and then SAT Registration.
» Acquiring your GPS - When the manual SAT Registration does not resolve the problem, you should try to acquire the position again (see above).
8. How do I send text messages (SMS) to my Thuraya phone from the Web? Thuraya supports 160 character SMS messaging. If you have web access and know the Thuraya phone's mobile number, you can use Thuraya's SMS Messaging Center to send an SMS. Some Thuraya phones have GSM capability, e.g. the HNS-7101 or SG-2520. If you are in GSM-mode, sending or receiving SMS messages can be at different rates than when in Thuraya satellite mode, depending on the policies of the GSM regional operator being used.
9. Can I TWEET from my Thuraya? Thuraya handheld satellite phones can send and receive Tweets via SMS. This allows Thuraya customers to stay in touch with social media in real time from almost anywhere within Thuraya's 140 country coverage area. To use this feature, the customer must link their Thuraya phone to their Twitter account. Customers then send an SMS to the dedicated Twitter code 1888 with the word START and follow the instructions. Thuraya voice customers receive Tweets free-of-charge in the form of an incoming SMS, but outbound Tweets are charged as a normal SMS text message.
11. What is the talk time and standby time for the Thuraya XT battery? The Thuraya XT heavy duty battery allows up to 6 hours talk time and up to 80 hours standby time.
12. Does the Thuraya XT have a GPS function? The Thuraya XT phone includes a GPS function with way-point navigation allowing you to create and manage way-points along your route. You can also use location tracking by automatically saving your location at fixed intervals which allows you to create a track of your route.
13. What interfaces does the Thuraya XT have? The Thuraya XT has the following interfaces: USB to Thuraya proprietary, Ear-piece (std 2.5 mm audio jack), DC power, external antenna.
14. Can I use the Thuraya XT or Thuraya XT-PRO to access the internet? On most postpaid plans, "always-on" GmPRS internet access with a best-effort data speed of 60 kbps down and 15 kbps up is available. The Thuraya XT-PRO and legacy Thuraya XT satellite phones support internet access. The Thuraya XT-LITE does not. Outfitter Satellite recommends the Optimizer Satellite Hotspot because it is provides WiFi access for use with your iPhone or Android smart phone as well as Windows or Macintosh computers. The Optimizer includes a SpeedMail email account with any active service agreement.
15. What computer operating systems are compatible with the Thuraya XT? The Thuraya XT is compatible with Windows Vista and Windows XP. Please call to confirm other operating systems.
17. Can I use the SatSleeve+ or SatSleeve Hotspot with a laptop? If you have an iPhone or Android smart phone with the Thuraya SatSleeve app installed, you can use the app to open up access to the SatSleeve+ or SatSleeve Hotspot GmPRS WiFi to a Mac OS X laptop or Windows laptop. Here are the steps:
- Turn on SatSleeve.
- Turn Wi-Fi of your smartphone on and connect to SatSleeve.
- Run SatSleeve App from your smartphone.
- Go to setting menu of SatSleeve App and set up Wi-Fi MAC address of your device (ex. smartphone or PC/MAC) which will use GmPRS.
- Perform GmPRS ON from SatSleeve App.
- The device that MAC address is set up can connect to SatSleeve via Wi-Fi and use the internet service through GmPRS.