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Thuraya, Ooredoo Maldives sign deal to provide satellite connectivity to fisheries

A Maldivian fisherman. Photograph courtesy of Ali Nishan/Flickr.
A Maldivian fisherman. Photograph courtesy of Ali Nishan/Flickr.

Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a leading Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) operator and Ooredoo Maldives announced on 19 October 2016 an agreement to supply resorts and fisheries with mobile satellite products and services across the nation. The initial phase of the agreement will provision fisheries and anglers with voice products and broadband connectivity over Thuraya’s satellite network.

The agreement addresses a safety regulation issued by the Maldives government, progressively requiring commercial fishing operators to fit their vessels with satellite communication equipment and to supply anglers with satellite phones. This regulation which will be implemented from 2017 onwards, is in line with the approach adopted by other fisheries management authorities throughout the world.

By equipping their fishing vessels with Thuraya’s products, operators will have access to monitoring systems and services that address multiple requirements such as issues of distress and safety.

Commencing from October 19, Ooredoo Maldives will sell Thuraya SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot devices as well as data packages at their Ooredoo Experience Center and through its enterprise account teams.

Thuraya SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot are sleek adaptors that transform smartphones into satellite phones. They offer fast, simple connectivity on the move, especially in remote areas where terrestrial networks have become unavailable or unreliable. They allow the user to make calls, use messaging applications, send and receive email and SMS, and access apps. They also come with an additional safety feature – a programmable SOS button that works even if the smartphone isn’t connected.

Bilal El Hamoui, Chief Commercial Officer at Thuraya said, “Fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, and more stringent safety measures are required. Up until now, the lack of accessibility and affordability have placed reliable satellite communications outside the reach of many fishermen. It’s time to re-evaluate, because we are offering unprecedented value. Thuraya equipment is small, and is quick and easy to install. We offer unlimited data plans, fast speeds and access to a reliable network. Thuraya can drive your communication costs down by an average of 40%. More affordable technology means it’s easier to keep satellite equipment onboard even on the smallest vessel, making it safer for fishermen to do their jobs and stay in touch with shore. Thuraya’s purpose is to save and improve lives, and this agreement will allow fishermen to be connected when and where they need it.”

Hussain Niyaz, from Ooredoo said, “Traditionally, fishery is the main occupation and major source of livelihood in the Maldives. It is also the second largest industry in the country. Safety is an important driver in this sector, where there are many accidents. It is important to have crew-calling capabilities outside of radio range so fishermen can send alerts when in trouble. Thuraya’s mobile satellite products and solutions enable us to extend our coverage and services to this sector. In exchange for a two-year contract, consumers can enjoy un-interrupted connectivity on land or at sea.”

The second phase of the agreement, which will come into effect later this year will target the 105 plus resorts located in the different atolls across Maldives. In a pre-emptive and precautionary mandate by the government, all resorts and touristic facilities are required to install satellite communication equipment as an added safety measure for tourists and visitors.

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