The World’s Northernmost Research Settlement Gets Mobile Coverage


Photo: Telenor

Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard was the last Norwegian settlement without mobile coverage. Now this small research settlement is also connected to Telenor's mobile network as the world's northernmost base station opened on Monday.

Ny-Ålesund, situated at 79 degrees north in the north-western region of Spitsbergen, Svalbard, was originally built as a mining town. Today, Ny-Ålesund is home to the world's northernmost, permanent civilian research station, and houses researchers from more than ten countries who are affiliated with the research station.

This is a big day for us. Mobile coverage will enable us to take advantage of the benefits of mobile communication while increasing safety for everyone who lives here, says Director of Kings Bay, the Norwegian state-owned company in charge of operating the settlement of Ny-Ålesund.

Providing mobile coverage for the settlement was easier said than done.

We started talks with Kings Bay back in 2001 about establishing mobile coverage, and there are many reasons why the residents of Ny-Ålesund are only getting mobile coverage now. It is expensive to establish coverage here, but it has been just as important to take into account that sensitive measuring equipment is not exposed to radio interference, says Director of Coverage at Telenor.

As a consequence of this, it is not permitted to use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in Ny-Ålesund. Telenor ensures that everyone on arrival in Ny-Ålesund receives a text message that they must switch off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on all equipment they have with them.

Source: High North News