Residents of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard will be among the first in Norway to test the 5G network
In a unique test of 5G’s capabilities, Telenor has the launched a 5G pilot on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. The pilot, which will officially commence next week, will test the next generation of cellular connectivity against the rigors and bitter cold of the Arctic climate.
Residents of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard were among the first to test 4G technology in 2012, and now, they will be among the first in Norway to test the next generation network, as well.
Located in the Arctic Ocean well north of the Arctic Circle, Svalbard offers average summer of temperatures of 4 to 6 °C (39 to 43 °F), while in January, you can expect temperatures to average between −16 and −12 °C (3 and 10 °F).
But Svalbard’s tundra climate is only the tip of the iceberg. The location will also present the challenge of a landscape dominated by glaciers, mountains and fjords. According to Telenor, the harsh environment will allow the company to learn as much as possible about 5G in the face of geographical and topographical challenges prior to commercial launch in 2020.
Sigve Brekke, president & CEO, Telenor Group said the “extreme weather conditions” of the remote location 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 utilize resources better and work in new ways with partners and communities to transform,” Brekke continued.
The plan is to build on the existing 4G network in order to test drones, emergency networks and 360-degree cameras connected by 5G. The pilot will include testing of broadband via 5G and 5G on mobile handsets, as well as will further Telenor’s partnership with the University Centre in Svalbard to help improve Svalbard’s ability to predict avalanches by using snow measurers equipped with IoT sensors.
“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, ” commented Petter Furberg, CEO of Telenor Norway.
According to a press release, Svalbard is one of 10 Norwegian locations that will get 5G over the course of this year including Elverum, Kongsberg and Oslo.
Earlier this year, Telenor Denmark announced its 5G trials with Nokia for Telenor’s Scandinavian operations.
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