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Arctic goes 4G as 'web crazy' Norilsk ups its speed

By The Siberian Times reporter
22 February 2016

Operator MTS plugs in key northern communities to fast mobile internet.

'Norilsk residents can be called the most active mobile Internet users in Siberia.' Picture: Kate Baklitskaya

The 'landmark' move is being hailed as leading to a significant improvement in the quality of life in nickel city Norilsk and the port of Dudinka.

MTS regional branch director Armen Avetisian said: 'Norilsk residents can be called the most active mobile Internet users in Siberia. More than 50 percent of residents use 3G from MTS, and the amount of traffic increases at 20 per cent annually.' This is 'a fast pace for current market volume', he said. 

The work is due to be complete in May this year, with residents getting access to high-speed mobile internet at speeds up to 75 Mbit /s. MTS is investing 55 million roubles ($725,000) in installing 30 base stations.

Equipment was delivered to Norilsk - population 176,251, and the second largest city above the Arctic Circle  - ahead of the annual freeze of the Yenisei River.

Deputy head the Krasnoyark region branch of the Federal Communications Agency, Nikolai Raspopin, said: 'It is very difficult to develop infrastructure in northern territories. In particular, this applies to Norilsk, which is located above the Arctic Circle, but is the second city in the number of inhabitants of the region. 

'The emergence of 4G in Norilsk will be a landmark event for the region and especially for Norilsk. This will improve the quality of life and quality of public services.'

Norilsk and Dudinka - population 22,204 - currently has no broadband internet. Norilsk remains closed to non-Russians without special permission. 

It is the world northernmost city with a permanent population of more than 150 000 people. The city has a longstanding problem with pollution.

Local photographer Nadezhd Rimskaya said two years ago: 'Norilsk misses just two things - oxygen and the internet.'

Comments (1)

You won't know yourselves when you have it, it's brilliant.

PS. And safe surfing.
Jaker, Dundalk
26/06/2016 10:02
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