Did I misread the date? Was it April? No, President Trump didn’t turn up for his meeting with the Queen of Denmark, simply because the Danes wouldn’t sell Greenland to the US.

Trump’s offer might have shocked the Danes – never mind the Greenlanders who probably felt like halibut to be landed and fried – but he cannot be blamed for trying to position the US (America First, remember) to better exploit the vast opportunities emerging from under the Arctic ice.

Countries with Arctic coastlines (Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Norway, Russia and the US) are readying themselves as investment pours in for energy production, shipping and fishing.

One thing the Arctic will need a lot more of is reliable, fast comms services, with 48% of the region currently without any connectivity. There has been something of an Arctic Comms Rush recently, with providers jockeying to announce their plans. One such operator is global satcoms provider OneWeb, which aims to deliver “fibre-like” services from its $3.4 billion constellation of low earth orbit satellites, connecting millions of homes, businesses, planes and boats above the 60th parallel North. With 375Gbit/s and low latency connectivity, the service will facilitate smart shipping, smart communities, connected aviation, the collection of climate data, and the growth of a digital economy across the region. Improved connectivity will also improve safety and communications services, as well as boost education, healthcare and economic development in remote communities.

The first six of OneWeb’s 650 polar-orbiting satellites have now been launched and tested, undertaking HD video streaming tests. Services will start in 2020, with full 24-hour blanket coverage being provided by early 2021 across the Arctic Circle.

Greenland

Has a population of 56,000 and an area of 2,166,086km2. Its GDP is £1.8 billion, or $37,000 per capita. The Greenlandic economy is highly dependent on fishing, which accounts for more than 90% of its exports. Mining of ruby deposits began in 2007. Other minerals that are mined include iron, uranium, aluminium, nickel, platinum, tungsten, titanium and copper. The state oil company Nunaoil was created to help develop the hydrocarbon industry in Greenland. The state mineral company Nunamineral was launched on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange to raise capital to increase the production of gold, starting in 2007.

  • Tele Greenland (mobile), 93%+ penetration by 2009
    2009 – 3G, vendor NSN
    2013 – 4G, vendor NSN (in Nuuk)
    2014 – 4G, vendor NSN (in Sisimiut, Ilulissat, Kangerlussuaq and Qaqortoq)
    2015 – 4G, vendor NSN (in Maniitsoq and Aasiaat)
    2017 – 4G modernisation and expansion, vendor Ericsson
  • Tele-Post provides internet connections via undersea cable, radio chains and satellite
    Greenland Connect, launched 2009, connects Canada, Greenland and Iceland
    Greenland Connect North, launched December 2017, connects Nuuk to Aasiaat
    The main radio chain is 1,500km and comprises 48 radio chain stations, connecting Greenland Connect and Connect North
    Tele-Post uses Intelsat 903 and 35e for satellite connectivity

Posted by Teresa Cottam

Teresa is the Chief Analyst at Omnisperience and has over 25 years' experience in the telecoms and technology markets. She is an expert on SME and enterprise telecoms, and has considerable vertical market expertise. Her research focus lies in helping B2B telecoms firms become more commercially successful by better understanding and meeting their customers' needs. She is a judge of the GSMA Global Mobile Awards (GloMo's) for customer experience and enterprise innovation, and for the UK Cloud awards. You can follow her on Twitter @teresacottam

One Comment

  1. […] SoftBank and other investors, and recently announced its rollout schedule for Arctic coverage (see Greenland says no to Trump, but yes to OneWeb). It has also signed a MoU with Iridium to bundle and market their […]

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