elenor opened its first telegraph station in Svalbard in 1911, and now – after 100 years – Svalbard is probably among the world’s most digitalised communities in the world. On Sunday 29 May, the celebration was kicked off by Telenor’s chairman Harald Norvik and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas, opening the world’s northernmost 4G/LTE network in Longyearbyen.
The LTE test launch adds to a number of ”northernmosts” – most northerly domestic fiber services, northernmost 2G, 3G, satellite station, and other ground-breaking records.
Telenor Svalbard’s global role
Telecommunications in no man’s landAround 1900, when industrialization and mining industry was starting to take off in the Arctic, Svalbard was increasingly becoming attractive to various nations and great powers.
On May 3, 1911, the Norwegian parliament agreed that a radio telegraph station was to be built on Svalbard. The station was named Spitsbergen Radio and originally built in Green Harbour linking Svalbard to the Norwegian mainland. The Norwegian authorities regarded this substantial investment as an opportunity to strengthen their presence and thus acquiring a stronger foothold on Svalbard.
The establishment of what later became Telenor Svalbard, was pivotal in securing Norway sovereignty over Svalbard when The Svalbard Treaty was signed in 1920.