RSCC Plans to Complete Commissioning of Multiservice Communications Network on Spitsbergen in 2013

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Commissioning of the satellite communications link complying with design parameters is scheduled for 2013. The requisite equipment and materials were shipped to Barentsburg in June this year. Construction and installation efforts are currently under way as stipulated by the contract signed in 2013 between the Federal Communications Agency (“Rossviaz”) and ZAO V-Luх. Contract support and construction monitoring are performed by RSCC.  


According to the existing plans, by the end of 2013 the multiservice communications network that includes the satellite link segment will (a) support approximately 500 access points for Internet, TV/radio and telephony, and (b) expand the GSM-900 cellular segment thanks to the refurbishment and construction of three base stations, providing access to mobile communications for up to 1000 users. The current activities are not impacting the functionality of the existing communication channels.

The construction of communications infrastructure on the Spitsbergen Archipelago in accordance with the Federal Target Program entitled “The World Ocean” (sub-program “Exploration, Development and Use of Arctic Regions”). The state customer and coordinator of the program is the RF Ministry for Economic Development while the Federal Communications Agency acts on behalf of the state as construction project customer.

The new communications facilities were designed by GSPI RTV (State Specialized Design Institute for Radio and TV in 2009 under a contract with RSCC.  Barentsburg will have a multiservice communications network, including the satellite link segment, that will support approximately 500 access points for Internet, TV/radio and telephony, and expand the GSM-900 cellular segment (after refurbishment and construction of three base stations) to provide access to mobile communications for up to 1000 users.  The entire scope of work is scheduled for completion in 2013 after the completion of Phase 3 of “The World Ocean” Federal Target Program.

The referenced facilities will provide the environment required for economic activities of the Russian businesses and institutions on the Archipelago, and offer modern communications services to the residents of Barentsburg.

Due to low temperatures and strong winds (Wind Region 7), the selection of equipment was an obvious first-priority task. The project is not made any simpler by the location of Spitsbergen at the 78th parallel, with the earth satellite communications station angular altitude of about 2 degrees. Well-conceived technical solutions and pinpoint accuracy in antenna system installation are required to meet the stringent constraints.

 Active project implementation phase in Barentsburg on the Spitsbergen Archipelago started in 2011. Based on the results of the open tender held in April of 2011, Rossviaz, acting on behalf of the state, signed a contract with OOO Isatel, a subsidiary of Intersputnik Holding, to build the space communications segment infrastructure. Contract support and construction monitoring are performed by RSCC.  Construction of satellite communications facilities was discussed and concurred with the Governor of Svalbard and Norway’s PTT Authority.

The work is being carried out in phases, with due regard for the geographic and climatic specifics of the Archipelago. As the result, 2011 saw the completion of construction and installation. Also, standalone and integrated tests were performed of the installed radio and telecommunications equipment of the earth satellite communications stations and fiber optical communications lines. Technical characteristics of the equipment are fully in compliance with applicable requirements.