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Norwegian operator Telenor has hooked up a commercial base station in Antarctica, giving The Norwegian Polar Institute’s research station, called Troll, some connectivity.
February 7, 2024
Troll serves as a hub for scientific exploration and environmental research, and the deployment will also apparently open up new opportunities for research and monitoring in Queen Maud Land.
Telenor worked with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) on the project, which is responsible for the communication service from the Troll station. KSAT owns and operates TrollSat, a ground station which collects data from climate and environmental monitoring satellites, co-located with the research station at Troll.
The release says that what makes this base station unique is that, aside from being the southernmost deployment in the world, it’s operated from the world's northernmost at Ny Ålesund.
"There has been a fruitful dialogue with the Norwegian Polar Institute regarding the possibilities offered by a base station in Antarctica,” said Head of Telenor Svalbard, Christian Skottun. “Telenor, with its presence in Svalbard, has extensive experience in building and operating mobile networks in Arctic regions.
“Mobile coverage is crucial for both Arctic poles. For research communities, the ability to utilize mobile IoT in gathering data from fieldwork is particularly attractive. Additionally, mobile coverage opens up new possibilities for research and environmental monitoring in the Antarctic oceanic area.”
Rolf Skatteboe, CEO of KSAT added: "Full mobile coverage at Troll also helps our users and simplifies communication with the outside world. We are therefore pleased that the satellite link from Troll also can be used for mobile phone traffic."
Reliable mobile coverage is certainly a bonus when it comes to trapsing out in the snow looking for God knows what across the Antarctic wilderness. Think how much hassle it would have saved Kurt Russell in The Thing.
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