Closing the Arctic Communication Gap

Plenary Session Organized by Iridium 3. October 2016

Once considered a remote part of the world where few traversed, the Arctic Circle is now experiencing regular traffic from ice breakers to cruise ships, and from fisheries and energy companies to scientific researchers and individuals.

As the Northwest Passage and more transpolar shipping routes continue to open to serve commercial interests, the ability to communicate reliably and efficiently is quickly becoming a necessity for both operational and safety requirements. As a satellite network operator providing connectivity at the poles, this session will identify the demands and trends occurring in Artic communications and the challenges and opportunities in meeting those needs, such as supporting voice and data applications that provide broadband connectivity on fishing vessels and short burst data packets sent through IOT connections from weather stations and ozone buoys. Communications options -- whether satellite, terrestrial or a hybrid of the two -- need to withstand harsh weather environments, provide low latency, and work reliably in order to support the rising growth in Arctic activity.


  • Bryan J. Hartin, Executive Vice President, Iridium