Thuraya and SoftBank Mobile to provide Japanese satellite network service

Louise Duffy | 19-12-2012

Mobile satellite services operator Thuraya Telecommunications and Japanese telco SoftBank Mobile have signed an agreement to provide Japanese business, enterprise and consumer subscribers across Thuraya’s satellite network with mobile satellite communication services.
Softbank Mobile has been approved by the Japanese regulator to provide Thuraya’s satellite network services in Japan. Starting in February 2013, Thuraya’s handsets and airtime services will be sold to customers from SoftBank Mobile’s distribution channels. As part of the agreement, the two companies will design a new version of Thuraya’s handset with special features, available exclusively for sale by SoftBank Mobile.
Thuraya’s services are available to SoftBank users who are outside of terrestrial networks, or in areas where those networks are unavailable or are vulnerable to natural disasters. Thuraya’s services aim to allow media, energy, government, and all other types of enterprises, as well as individual consumers to communicate at any time from anywhere in Japan and the maritime areas surrounding it.
"During the disruption caused to mobile network services when the Great East Japan Earthquake hit in 2011, satellite communication services played a significant role in restoring network transmission services and providing subscribers with preliminary communication services. By partnering with Thuraya, SoftBank Mobile aims to provide reliable and easily deployable emergency mobile telecommunication services during times of disaster recovery operations," said SoftBank Mobile's executive vice president, director & CTO, Junichi Miyakawa.
"With the partnership with a trusted satellite operator coupled with a superb mobile satellite products, SoftBank Mobile is well positioned to provide our subscribers with high quality and reliable mobile voice communications across Thuraya's broad geographic footprint both on land and at sea."
"Like SoftBank Mobile, Thuraya is committed to providing reliable connectivity to serve humanity. This groundbreaking alliance between our companies represents an exciting milestone for SoftBank's subscribers who can now benefit from comprehensive coverage of our satellite network," added Samer Halawi, chief executive officer for Thuraya.
"This agreement is another example of Thuraya's flexibility and product innovation which has met the specific requirements of SoftBank and its customers. Thuraya is looking forward to bringing the best of mobile satellite devices and industry expertise in support of critical communication services in our partnership with SoftBank Mobile."