Thuraya and Sudatel form joint venture

DUBAI - Thuraya, the UAE-based Satellite Telecommunications Company and Sudatel, Sudan's national telecommunications company yesterday announced the formation Thuraya-Sudatel, a new joint venture telecommunications service company in Sudan.

By Babu Das Augustine

Published: Thu 15 Jan 2004, 10:07 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:07 AM

The new company, a satellite telecom service provider will be responsible for the sales and establishing of Thuraya's satellite mobile phones and fixed line public telephone utilities across Sudan.

The new entity will have an initial capital of $2.5 million. While Thuraya will hold 80 per cent of the capital, the remaining 20 per cent will be held by Sudatel. As part of the joint venture agreement signed yesterday at the Dubai Press Club, the new company will be responsible for all sales, distribution, marketing and customer support activities for Thuraya services in Sudan.

As a telecom service provider, Thuraya's joint venture has the potential to offer its services in other countries. "If there are right opportunities, we will surely explore," Mohammad Omran, chairman of Thuraya said.

In Sudan the company intends to market its fixed line satellite pay phones at 25 per cent discount. And in the future, the company has plans to further reduce its charges. By the end of 2003, Thuraya had achieved a customer base of more than 185,000 direct customers and a fairly large number of GSM based indirect customers. While the company has already announced its intention to launch its third satellite, it will re-position its first satellite to provide full coverage to Asia.

The new JV company will extend Thuraya services throughout Sudan, providing, mobile, fixed and rural satellite telephony. "In addition to distributing our mobile services, we intend to provide satellite based land phone services telecommunication access to remote areas. This is a significant decision for Thuraya in recognition of Sudan as a priority market."

With the peace initiative gaining momentum in Sudan, the Sudanese economy is expected gain pace in the near future resulting in increased demand for telecommunication services across the country.

In the first year of operation, Thuraya-Sudatel expects to sell more than 1000 satellite phones in Sudan, while it targets close to 40,000 phones in five years.

Abdul Aziz Osman, Sudatel's general manager said: "We have had a positive experience working with Thuraya to date and are pleased to be further strengthening our partnership with them. This new company has the right components to ensure its success in helping to build the telecommunications infrastructure in Sudan."

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