ThurayaDSL – Satellite Internet

Imagine lounging on a beach in (enter favorite tropical locale here), cool (enter fav beverage) in hand, while following the World Cup final live in broadband on your laptop. Better yet, imagine watching American football on your laptop. It all could be possible with satellite internet provider ThurayaDSL. The modem, about the size of an ultraportable notebook, can give you access to Thuraya’s coverage area of about 110 countries where normally it’d be hard to find a phone line, let alone a high-speed Internet hookup.

Sure, Europe is included in Thuraya’s global reach, but so are remote areas across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The ThurayaDSL satellite IP modem attaches to your laptop via Ethernet and gives GPRS packet data communication at speeds up to 144 kbps. You will, however, also need a ThurayaDSL SIM card to tap into the company’s network.

Of course, that lead-in bit about “watching” World Cup with this satellite internet connection might be a bit of an exaggeration. Your best bet at 144 kbps may be “instant” online textual play-by-play of your sporting event, as visuals may swamp the ship. (In comparison, I’m pulling in 100 Mbps with my cable high-speed hookup-in America, home of the world’s crappiest broadband.)

But 144 Kbps would allow you to check your all-important e-mail, hit corporate Intranet sites, buy suntan lotion at for your last few days at the beach, and even download and upload to FTPs and the like if you got the time.

You get charged by volume for this satellite internet provider, not by the time duration that you’re online. Forttel are currently quoting an activation fee which includes the SIM card of $50, and a further $6 per MB. When you factor in the 2 grand plus cost of the unit itself you can see that this service is for journalists on their boss’s dime, or independent web tycoons, not the casual Joe Soap user. Special antennas can also be bought for use on the high seas, and you can instruct your ThurayaDSL provider to cap your usage so you don’t overshoot your budget.

More info –

By Henrik Stigell – Laptopical

Tuesday, July 11, 2006