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Telecommunications in Antarctica

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Title: Telecommunications in Antarctica  
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Subject: Antarctica, Antarctic Protected Area, Exploration of Antarctica, Mawson Sea, Mount King (Antarctica)
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Telecommunications in Antarctica

This article is about telecommunications in Antarctica.

Telephone communication

US Bases

Telephones - main lines in use: 0
(note: information for US bases only (2001))

Telephones - mobile cellular: Argentine bases have GSM networks provided by Argentinean carriers Claro and Movistar; Iridium system in use

Telephone system:
general assessment: local systems at some research stations
domestic: N/A
international: via satellite from some research stations

Australia and New Zealand bases

Six locations (Casey Base (AU), Davis Base (AU), Macquarie Island (AU), Mawson (AU), McMurdo Station (US) and Scott Base (NZ)) all have telephone connections that enable direct dialing to and from the outside world. Argentinian and Chilean bases within their claims, which have families living at them, are also connected by direct dial connections.

Connection to Scott Base and the nearby United States base McMurdo Station is via the New Zealand Country calling code +64,see Communications in New Zealand.


Television broadcast stations: 1 (cable system with six channels; American Forces Antarctic Network-McMurdo)
(note: information for US bases only (2002)) Televisions: several hundred at McMurdo Station (U.S.)
(note: information for US bases only (2001))


Internet Service Providers (ISPs): Argentine bases have WiFi provided by Argentinean internet provider Speedy a fiber cable on polar plateau planned to finish in 2009

Country code (Top level domain): .AQ

Data access to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is provided by access via NASA's TDRS-F1, GOES & Iridium satellite constellation. Marisat F-2 provided data communications until it was retired in 2008. For the 2007-2008 season, the TDRS relay (named South Pole TDRSS Relay or SPTR) was upgraded to support a data return rate of 50 Mbit/s, which comprises over 90% of the South Pole's data capability, which is used primarily for scientific data return.[1][2]

See Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station#Operation for more info.

Argentine bases in general: Marambio Base has wireless internet and 2 mobile phones servers

Orbcomm satellites pass over Antarctica which can relay short messages to and from transceiver units to email or XML over HTTP.


'Official' broadcasts

Argentina Bases: Radio Nacional Arcangel San Gabriel, Esperanza Base, on 15476 kHz with 2 kW and 97.6 MHz. QSL cards verified. Chile Bases: Radio Soberania, Villa las Estrellas on 90.5 MHz with 100 W. USA Bases: American Forces Antarctic Network AFAN McMurdo, on 93.9 MHz with 30 W and 104.5 MHz with 50 W.

Amateur radio

Several bases used their transceivers also to provide amateur radio worldwide communications on HF or amateur radio satellites with specific club callsigns, also useful on utility and emergency communications.


  1. ^
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External links

  • 'A' Net Station, a streamed MP3 commercial-free web radio station in Antarctica featuring mostly acoustic artists.
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