Huawei and Telenor take on Arctic conditions

28 June 2011 |


The Chinese vendor Huawei and Norwegian telco Telenor Norway have teamed up to deploy what they claim is the world’s northernmost LTE site in Svalbard; an archipelago located halfway between Norway and the North Pole.

Using Huawei’s SingleRAN LTE solution, Telenor has begun offering the LTE service in the town of Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s largest settlement. During a launch ceremony, attendees were reportedly able to stream HD video at downloads speeds of more than 100Mbps.

The climate in Svalbard is said to be so extreme that temperatures can plummet to -50 degrees in the winter.

Berit Kjøll, EVP of Huawei Norway, said that the LTE launch proved “Huawei wireless equipment is capable of optimal performance in even the harshest natural conditions”.

Telenor’s experience of establishing telecoms operations in challenging Arctic conditions dates back almost 100 years, when it first constructed telegraph towers across the islands.

”Svalbard has changed radically in recent years, and we have continually improved the communications options for the local populace. The launch of this advanced LTE network marks the next step in our evolution,” said Harald Norvik, chairman of the board of Telenor Group.

Last month’s edition of Capacity, saw guest columnist Tim Phillips explore how telcos combat other extreme conditions, most notably the arid heat of the outback (click here).