Telenor will activate a mobile phone network in Ny-Ålesund on Tuesday the 28th of November 10:00 local time (09:00 UTC).

The transmission will initially be set with reduced power output (25 %), with a stepwise increase every three days, until full operational status on Thursday the 7th of December 10:00 local time (09:00 UTC). The following frequency bands will be activated: 700, 800 and 900 MHz.

As part of the initial launch, and during the first 14 days of the commissioning period (i.e. 28.11 – 07.12), Telenor Svalbard’s back-office ( / (+47) 7902 1764) will have extra focus on monitoring the operation of the Ny-Ålesund site. Contact them if you experience any irregularities in measurements that you suspect might be caused by the mobile network. 

The purpose of the Commissioning Period is to confirm that the mobile network operates as intended and to ensure that any unforeseen negative effects are avoided.

Once the initial commissioning period is over, “Procedures for the reporting and handling of incidents during standard operation of a mobile network in Ny-Ålesund” apply.

The procedures specify the following with regards to status at end of the commissioning period, and during regular operation once an incident has been reported, assessed and analysed:

• Operational mobile network in Ny-Ålesund

• No adverse effect on other ongoing activities/measurements

A mobile network opens up for use of sensors in research and environmental monitoring in Ny-Ålesund with a much higher resolution (temporally and spatially) than today. However, it is critical that the presence of a mobile network is not used in such a way that it compromises the protected measurements carried out by the Norwegian mapping authority.

In short, all the usual restrictions regarding the use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth still apply in Ny-Ålesund. Specifically, make sure to actively disable both Wi-Fi and BT on all your devices, and do NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE set up a wireless hotspot on your phone!

If you are unsure of how to disable Wi-Fi and BT on any of your devices, please consult the manual for the device in question. Guides on how to disable Wi-Fi and BT on the most commonly used computer operating systems (Windows and MacOS) and mobile phone systems (Android and iOS) are available on  

Mobile phone culture in Ny-Ålesund

Social life in Ny-Ålesund is highly important as people live and work in an isolated research station.

To keep the good social atmosphere Ny-Ålesund Research Station encourage all residents and visitors to:

  • Set your phone in silent mode in the common areas
  • Please don`t stream and surf by the dining tables in the restaurant
  • Seek private areas when taking phone calls
  • No pictures and videos after 10 pm during social events

Restrictions on the use of radio transmitters in Ny-Ålesund

Radio transmission in the 2–32 GHz frequency band is not allowed within a 20 km radius from Ny-Ålesund, as stated in the General authorisations regulations.

The Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA) takes advantage of this, with low disturbance on their measurements.

To prevent disturbances to NMAs measurements, it is illegal to use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (BT) on site – unless you have a valid frequency license issued by The Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom). In daily life among residents and visitors in Ny-Ålesund this means that Wifi and Blue tooth needs to be disabled on all devices (get help here).

The legal framework for frequency use is managed by the Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom). Nkom has the official responsibility for all frequency use in Norway, including on Svalbard and in Ny-Ålesund.

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