[Via Satellite 11-11-2014] Thuraya Telecommunications Company, the Middle East based MSS operator, is targeting growth from many verticals going forward including maritime and new markets such as the “connected car,” where it believes satellite technology can play a strong role. At its Thuraya Product Development Forum last week in Dubai, key execs from the company outlined the roadmap going forward and even teased a new product launch, expected before the end of the year, as it looks to increase its portfolio of products to different market segments.
Samer Halawi, Thuraya’s CEO kicked off the event with an optimistic forecast of where the operator’s business is, both in terms of projected revenues and terminal shipments. According to Halawi, Thuraya has sold more terminals in the year-to-date (end of September) than the whole of 2013. The company is also projected to have revenues of around $130 million in 2014.
In a bullish opening speech, Halawi said he thinks Thuraya is now the world’s “most innovative satellite company,” and cited the launch of products such as the SatSleeve as an example of the operator’s innovative approach toward new products and services.
A lot of speculation continues to center on Thuraya’s plans for a next generation constellation. While remaining a little cagey on this, Halawi said he is confident that by the end of next year, the operator will likely have a plan in place as regards a new system.
One of the key themes of the events is where Thuraya is targeting growth going forward. Having looked at a number of segments, the operator has narrowed it down to six high growth areas where it feels it can make an impact. Randy Roberts, VP of innovation at Thuraya, spoke of the operator’s desire to target such areas as the connected car, security, infotainment, ATMs, telemedicine, point of sale, hotspots, etc. These are the segments where Thuraya feels its technology can make a difference.
The connected car market is particularly interesting as it is potentially a new one for satellite. Roberts is optimistic that Thuraya, as well as the satellite industry, can find new business here, citing Swedish car manufacturer Volvo, which said that by 2020 they will try guarantee that no person will die in a new Volvo vehicle. Roberts says in order to achieve such an ambitious target, you will need connectivity everywhere, opening the door for satellite to have an impact.
Maritime is also seen as a key opportunity for Thuraya, according to Leticia Diaz Del Rio, market development manager at Thuraya. She spoke of an addressable market of more than 50,000 ships and more than 70,000 leisure boats that Thuraya could target. Del Rio said she sees the fishing market as having huge potential for the operator as it looks to become more of a player in this space.
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