Thuraya satellite phones — Indoor Use

Until a few years ago, the only option for using satellite commu­ni­ca­tions in buildings, for example in emergency call and opera­tions centers, was to buy mobile satellite phones such as the Thuraya XT-PRO and use docking stations to turn them into desk phones for use in buildings.

In practice, we see that the combi­nation of mobile satellite phone, docking station, antenna cable and antenna is much more sensitive than ready-made complete solutions: In addition to the antenna connection, we repeatedly observe mechanical or software-related connection problems between the mobile satellite phone and the docking station. You also have two devices here that need to be kept up to date with the latest firmware.

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Thuraya MarineStar

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At this point we would like to recommend the Thuraya MarineStar, a complete solution with desk phone, antenna and up to 90m of antenna cable. As the name suggests, the Thuraya MarineStar was designed for vessels. The materials are therefore resistant and the construction is partic­u­larly robust. There are no disad­van­tages and of course there are no restric­tions for use the MarineStar on land.

The antenna is omnidi­rec­tional, i.e. has 360 degree coverage, and therefore does not require alignment with the Thuraya satellite. However, there must be a line of sight to the satellite: In Germany, the Thuraya satellite is located in the south-east. The elevation angle is 35 degrees above the horizon in the south of Germany and 27 degrees in the north.

Thuraya MarineStar Schnittstellen
Thuraya MarineStar interfaces
Thuraya MarineStar Schnittstellen

The Thuraya MarineStar also has a telephone interface (RJ-11). This interface is powered by the MarineStar. This means that a wired (analog) telephone at another location in the building can use the connection via satellite if necessary, even if there is no emergency power supply available. The MarineStar can also be integrated into an (analog) telephone system as an extension via the RJ-11 interface.

Satellite telephony is provided via the same SIM cards as for Thuraya mobile satellite telephones. For profes­sional emergency commu­ni­cation, we strongly recommend SIM cards with a postpaid contract. Only these can be used indef­i­nitely if necessary and do not have to be topped up like prepaid SIM cards. (Short-term) recharging or activation cannot be guaranteed in the event of a large-scale incident.

Why you shouldn’t use prepaid cards for …

Why you shouldn’t use prepaid cards for … 

These days we often have requests for emergency systems to be ready for possible blackouts. Hopefully these phones will never need to be used, so we are often asked for prepaid solutions that will only be topped up when needed (emergency). This is not a … read more

The geosta­tionary satellite system Thuraya has its strengths in particular in its good acces­si­bility and connection stability. With earth-orbiting systems, such as Iridium, short inter­rup­tions in commu­ni­cation are sometimes unavoidable due to the system.

From our perspective and experience, the Thuraya MarineStar in conjunction with a postpaid SIM card is a compact and low-maintenance solution for emergency communication.

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