The Norwegian Government informed that it wants Norwegian satellites to make broadband communications available in the Arctic. This aims to help shipping, defence, fisheries or research in the area.
Space Norway AS works to improve the satellite-based broadband communications capacity in the Arctic since 2015. According to the project, two satellites providing coverage 24 hours a day in the area north of 65 degrees N latitude, will be working. The satellites are planned to be launched in 2022.
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To facilitate the project, Norway will pledge to Space Norway AS about NOK 1 billion in equity capital for the project. This means that the state will contribute equity if Space Norway makes agreements, ensuring the project’s commercial profitability.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide, said:
The High North is Norway’s most important strategic area of responsibility. It is quite natural that we take a leading role in establishing better communications in the region.
The lack of proper coverage in the Arctic makes it harder for the authorities to perform security and emergency services, such as search and rescue at sea, oil spill protection and crisis management.
Furthermore, the Armed Forces also need stable and secure communications for operations in Norwegian waters.