Arctic 5G pilot to test connectivity in Norwegian tundra

arctic 5g
© iStock/sodar99

The world’s northernmost pilot project will test 5G connectivity in Arctic conditions on the archipelago of Svalbard, Norway.

The Arctic 5G pilot will be conducted by telecommunications provider Telenor, which has pledged to spend 2019 exploring and experimenting with 5G networks. Telenor Group President and CEO Sigve Brekke said: “Extreme weather conditions in remote locations populated by a small but industrious community makes Svalbard a dream test case for 5G. The experiences we gain from here will be critical as we bring connectivity to more corners of the world where a changing climate requires us to both utilise resources better and work in new ways with partners and communities to transform.”

Telenor intends to test the limits of 5G connectivity in the face of the geographical and atmospheric challenges posed by Svalbard’s landscape of glaciers, mountains and fjords; as well as its Arctic tundra climate. The Arctic 5G project will test an array of technologies enabled and augmented by 5G, including emergency communications networks, avalanche warning systems; and drones.

Petter Furberg, CEO of Telenor Norway, said: “Svalbard is a unique region in the global context, and the ideal location for testing the super network of the future. We are starting small and will extend the pilot to include some very interesting user areas in the longer term. This is an exciting time for the residents of Svalbard, as well as [for] us at Telenor. Drones can play a completely different role to their present one thanks to 5G. For example, it will be possible to communicate and share real time data with teams on the ground far more efficiently. This will strengthen preparedness, response times and efficiency for rescue missions. An emergency network based on 5G will inspire far more confidence in the emergency services, as they will have better control of its use, capacity, security and monitoring.”

Following the launch of its Arctic 5G pilot, Telenor is set to deploy 5G networks in nine further regions around Norway, including Oslo, Trondheim and Kongsberg.


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