The state-owned Russian Space Communications Company (RSCC) have started construction and integration of a telecommunication infrastructure at Spitsbergen Island under the Arctic Development and Management Project, a sub-program of the World Ocean Federal Target-oriented Program. The project is ordered, on behalf of the Russian Government, by the Federal Agency of Communications (Rossvyaz).
The future infrastructure shall provide all pre-conditions as may be required for business activities of the Russian companies and institutions based on the archipelago (Arktikugol and the Arctic and Antarctic Research and Development Institute) and shall also offer state-of-the-art telecommunication services to the community of the Russian settlement of Barentsburg.
The tasks defined by the project include
- Build a next-generation network (NGN) supporting transport of multimedia services via 200 points of presence (the Internet, TV/audio casting and voice communications);
- Expand the existing GSM-900 mobile communications segment (upgarde and construct three base stations) with a 1000-subscriber capacity; and
- Set up a satellite communications segment.
The Russian users at Spitsbergen shall be provided with access to the most advanced service package including digital TV, mobile communications, and a high bit rate Internet connectivity.
The speicific geographic location and the intricate climatic conditions impose stringent constraints on the Spitsbergen infrastructure development project – any construction and integration activities are limited to the July–August period. All required hardware and materials were delivered to Barentsburg from the port of Murmansk by the Pavel Korchagin special-purpose ship on 31 May 2011. As of today, all operations have entered an active phase to be run in parallel for the next two months by several subcontractors supervised by RSCC.