Abu Dhabi: The UAE's Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company yesterday announced the launch of commercial services in Angola, providing satellite-based solutions for mobile, rural telephony and broadband services.

Dubai-based International Engineering & Consultants (IEC) will be Thuraya's service provider in Angola. IEC will market and distribute Thuraya's services through their local Angolan partner "Sistec", which has eight branches and 400 staff throughout the country.

As a national service provider for Thuraya, Sistec will be offering the most affordable call tariffs in Angola.Yousuf Al Saeed, chief executive of Thuraya, said the deal underlines the company's ongoing expansion in Africa's emerging markets.

"Our service launch in Angola is the latest among several recent launches in African markets that signify our focus and commitment towards Africa, as developing nations that constitute a substantial part of our coverage area," he said.

"As a regional satellite telecom system, we seek to complement existing telecom networks, enhance service offerings for key sectors, and create successful long-term business partnerships in our region," he added in a statement. IEC Dubai's general manager Dominque Audion said that following a long 30-year civil war, an extensive infrastructure rebuilding is currently under way by international companies, which makes the outlook for telecoms in Angola highly promising.

"In addition to benefiting several local economic and trading sectors, Thuraya's presence would be significant for extending the reach of telecom services to all people and remote villages in Angola," he said.

He added that with a large, remote surface area of more than one million square kilometres, and a fixed-line network serving little more than 0.6 per cent of the population.