Thuraya Satellite Network & Products

‘Our 5 cents on…’ what to expect from the Thuraya Satellite Network.

We like the stationary satellite systems, in the case of Thuraya, their satellite for our region is 35,000km above Sumatra, which means the satellite is at a very usable angle for the central, north and western regions of Australia (i.e. elevation above horizon: Alice Springs 41oNW, Hobart 20oNW, Cape York 38oW and Perth 48oNW).

In the south east it’s not our first choice as the lower angle of elevation makes it challenging to operate. In Tasmania and Victoria, it works but you will need to be near the top of any hills. We have used it sailing down the entire east coast of Australia to Tasmania and it works well – obviously, no hills out there. The phones are quite simple to use, however, your voice or the callers may fade out (and return) if you walk around with the phone. The call quality is the best on the market, but you will need the antenna to be pointing in the general direction of the Satellite during calls, and this gets more critical as you travel further East. 

All you need to do is find a clear line of site to the satellite and you can talk with great voice quality uninterrupted for as long as you wish, knowing that the satellite will not move or be obscured by a hill or trees during your conversation.


Travelling overseas…?  The Thuraya service is an excellent option for Indonesia and Vietnam though Middle East to West Africa.

Our commitment to you!

It is important that you learn how to use the satellite phone before you leave on your trip – knowing how to use it correctly will make a huge difference. Our commitment to you is, we will offer you up to $10 in free calls to practice before you leave.

Thuraya Satellite Coverage

Thuraya XT-Lite Handset Satellite Phone

To rent the XT-Lite with active SIM, 12v, 240v, & protective case.
Minimum charge one week $140, 10 days $185, 2 weeks $230.

For longer periods, please call as additional weekly rates get cheaper.
Price includes: hire, GST, delivery and $10 of free calls.

Calls to Australian Numbers: $1/min & $0.50/SMS – no charge to receive.

The XT-Lite is our favourite and our most popular phone!

PROS –  It is small, light, reliable, simple to operate and has great battery life and can be charged by any USB charge supply.
CONS – you need to be mindful that the antenna is pointing towards the satellite, it isn’t the most robust and it has limited coverage for the eastern seaboard.

Thuraya SatSleeve Handset Satellite Phone
(iOS + Android)

To rent the SatSleeve Hotspot with active SIM, 12v, 240v, protective case
Minimum charge one week $184, 10 days $229, 2 weeks $274.
For longer periods, please call as additional weekly rates get cheaper.
Price includes: hire, GST, delivery and $10 of free calls/data.
Calls to Australian Numbers: $1/min & $0.50/SMS – no charge to receive

The Thuraya SatSleeve is a satellite phone with it’s own SIM and no keyboard. It connects to your iOS/Android smart device via Wi-Fi. It is not recommended for users that primarily need an emergency satellite phone. It’s great for users with a need for semi-regular communications, particularly via SMS as you use your touch screen keyboard.  

PRO’s – It is small, light, and it’s cradle/stand keeps the satellite position so you are free to move, allows easy texting, great call quality through your smart device and does offer the ‘fastest’ low bandwidth data via a handheld satellite device (60kps). 

CON’s – average battery life, also requiring two devices connected via Wi-Fi can be problematic particularly in emergency situations.
(Note: An SOS call can be made directly from SatSleeve).

You need to pre-download the Thuraya SatSleeve app to your smart phone/tablet then connect to the device via Wi-Fi. You put the SatSleeve outside so it can connect to the Thuraya network. You can sit or work in any location within range of the Wi-Fi feed using your own phone. You can now make satellite connected calls and you have the joy of sending SMS via your touch screen using the contacts list within your smartphone.

The data feed is workable particularly for low bandwidth applications such as WhatsApp or BOM lite, but it too slow for emails. The data speed is up to 60kbps down and 15kbps up (that’s 2.5min/MB). Don’t be too worried about high data costs ($5/MB) as it takes a number of steps to turn the data feed on and at that speed in ideal conditions it will still take well over 5 minutes to burn $10.

Outgoing Calls Costs

Calls are $1 per minute to any Australian mobile or landline, regardless of where you are on the planet. If you decide to go to Nepal, Kenya or surfing in Indonesia, calls home will be $1 per minute and (it gets better) the incoming call will be the same cost as calling a normal Australian mobile for the caller. SMS are $0.50 to any mobile on the planet. 
Data costs with SatSleeve: $5/MB (Data Speeds – Download 60kps/ Upload 15kps).
There are no charges to receive a call or text message. 

Call cost to Overseas numbers depends on the country, generally around $2 to $3 per minute. Calls to a Telstra Iridium (0147 number) phone from our Pivotel Thuraya phone will cost you $10 per minute.
Calls to other Satellite systems (e.g. +8707 ) – DON’T CALL THEM! It can be up to $25 per minute.

Call Charges

You will be billed for the calls you make during your hire period once we have received the phone. We will email you an itemised tax receipt for the amount charged to your supplied credit card for the calls made. (Let us know if your business requires a different payment arrangement).

How to rent a phone from EPIRBhire?

Please feel free to call 0415 263 750 or email – we’re here to help. 
We operate 24/7 for critical support and we extend this service to clients who prefer to chat after hours – just not too late.
We can normally deliver Australia wide within 24/48 hours although we prefer not to rush things. We consider hire periods from the last post day we can get it to you, until the day we get it back.

Would you like to buy a Thuraya device?

EPIRBhire can supply the handset for hire or test before you buy. Please call us for more information and to discuss the options.