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Thuraya going for alternative markets for growth

Mobile satcoms company Thuraya is looking at new and non-traditional markets such as the smaller workhorse vessel operators running shortsea services and fishing vessels for its future growth and has already seen triple digit annual growth in the Asia Pacific region over the past three years, says Thuraya maritime market development manager Leticia Diaz Del Rio.

Much of this growth has been driven by a new regulatory framework in the European Union (EU) that requires electronic logging by fishing fleets even from vessels working outside EU waters but are exporting products to the region.

The offerings are relatively modest at the moment but Thuraya's multiple options give customers the flexibility to buy products that are especially suited to their needs and not expensive one-size-fits-all solutions that had been the only option in the market previously.

There are now people having a conversation about installing maritime satellite communications on their vessels that had never bothered before because the cost was prohibitive. "We're seeing a boom in satellite phone penetration among smaller vessels," added Diaz Del Rio.

For example in China where there are many smaller vessels with relatively low average revenue per user there is an increase in demand for voice services from Thuraya.

"There has been a huge portion of the industry that has not been addressed," said Diaz Del Rio. These include the smaller vessels such as offshore supply vessels and others that have been ignored by other companies that focus only on larger merchant vessels in large fleets and have been left somewhat in limbo, she noted.

"Without us large sectors of the maritime industry simply do not have the opportunity to deliver the communications you would expect in 2016," concluded marketing and communications vp Christian Cull.

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