two current operators, Etisalat and du, as well other companies interested in offering the service. There is no time-frame for completing the process.
Abu Dhabi-based Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company, a leading provider of cost-effective, satellite-based mobile telephone services to nearly one-third of the globe through dual-mode handsets and satellite payphones, is majority owned by Etisalat.
Thuraya-1, the first satellite initiated from the Middle East and the heaviest satellite launched to date, was successfully deployed in 2000. A second satellite, Thuraya 2, was launched in 2003 and a third Thuraya 3, costing between Dh551 million to Dh734.62 million (US$150–US$200 million), was launched on 18 November 2007. Thuraya 3 replaces the ageing Thuraya 1, while Thuraya 2 will c o n t i n u e p r o v i d i n g c o v e r a g e f o r t h e M i d d l e E a s t , E u r o p e , N o r t h @ w w w . u a e i n t e r a c t . c o m / t e l e c o m m s