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Thuraya has updated the way their airtime validity vouchers and SIM renewals work. Currently, it is the top-up balance that is valid if the SIM card is in an active state, and will remain so providing that there is enough balance to meet the annual renewal fee.

However, this is changing on 1st April 2019. 

Thuraya SIM Card Renewal Changes

The NOVA SIM card will now have the same renewal rules as the standard SIM.  Therefore, both SIMs will be valid for 365 days from the date of activation, and a renewal fee of 39 units will be taken from your available balance upon the anniversary in order to keep the SIM active for another 365 days.

For example, if you activate your SIM card on 1st April 2019 then your renewal date will be 365 days from this date meaning you will need to be aware that a fee of 39 units will be charged on this date.

If your SIM card does not have the required 39 units for the SIM renewal, then it will fall into a 3-month grace period whereby you will need to add enough credit to cover the renewal charge of 39 units. To avoid deactivation, airtime must be added. If the SIM card becomes deactivated, please note that if you wish to reactivate your SIM card there is a fee.

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Thuraya Airtime Voucher Validity Changes

For customers with an existing balance, when they top up the entire balance will be extended by the validity of the latest top up. For example, a customer that has a 10-unit balance tops up with 20 units on 1st April 2019, will then have a total balance of 30 units with the expiry date as March 31st 2020.

Top Up Denomination Validity (from date of top up)
10 units 180 days
20 units 365 days
39 units 365 days
50 units 365 days
80 units 365 days
160 units 365 days
500 units 365 days
1000 units 365 days
2500 units 365 days

Therefore, SIM Cards will no longer be valid by simply staying in an active state, there must be valid airtime on the SIM.

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So how will this affect you? It depends upon the last time you topped up!

When did you last Top-Up your Thuraya Device?

A. You Topped Up before 5th March 2017

If the last time you topped up was before 5th March 2017, and you have not used your Thuraya device to make outgoing calls, SMS or GmPRS - then check your balance to determine when your expiry date is:

  • Less than 100 units - your balance will expire: 05 March 2019
  • 101-499 units - your balance will expire: 05 April 2019
  • 500+ units - your balance will expire: 15 April 2019

(If your balance is 100 units, it will be displayed on the screen as $ 100)

B. You Topped Up between 5th March 2017 and 31st March 2019

If you top-up between these dates, and have used your Thuraya device during this period, but have not purchased anymore airtime in 2019 then your balance will expire: 31 March 2020. 

For example, a customer that topped up on 6th March 2018 with 50 units and sent an SMS on the date of their top-up, their airtime will expire on 31st March 2020.

Therefore, we advise that if you have topped up since 5th March 2017 and have not used your Thuraya device, you should perform an activity before 31st March 2019. Activity is classed as either an outgoing voice call, outgoing SMS or GmPRS.

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Questions about Thuraya Validity Changes

Q: Can I add more than one voucher on the same day, to make the validity longer than 365 days?

A: No, the maximum validity is 365 days. Therefore, if you add 2 x 50 unit vouchers then your balance would be 100 units with a 365-day validity.

Q: My SIM card does not have any credit on, so will i be able to add credit to it whenever i like in the future.

A: If your SIM does not have enough credit on for the SIM renewal, then it will fall into the 3-month grace period, mentioned above.

Q: Can I set up an auto top up for a new voucher when my existing voucher expires.

A: No, there is no auto top-up functionality.

Q: When i dial to check my balance on my handset, will it tell me my SIM expiry and voucher expiry?

A: The expiry date is not currently available to view. However, if you contact us we can provide the expiry date on devices and SIM cards purchased from us.

Changes to Thuraya Price Plans

The changes to the Standard and NOVA prepaid price plans and NOVA zones come into effect on 10th April 2019.

Service Price Plans Current Price New Price
Voice Calls to Thuraya per minute All Standard Prepaid 0.99 units per min 1.19 units per min
Preloaded Balance All NOVA Prepaid 20 Units 10 Units
 Renewal Fee All NOVA Prepaid 10 Units per 24 months 39 Units per 12 months

Changes to Thuraya NOVA Zones

Mali is currently in a Zone E NOVA country. However, it will be removed from the NOVA zone and become a Standard Zone country (applicable for Prepaid and Monthly Contracts).

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Thuraya changes, please comment below or contact us.