Telecommunications in Antarctica

This article is about telecommunications in Antarctica.

Telephone communication

United States 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

Australian and New Zealand stations

Five locations (Casey Station (AU), Davis Station (AU), Macquarie Island Station (AU), Mawson Station (AU) and Scott Base (NZ)) all have telephone connections that enable direct dialling 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 Telecommunications in New Zealand.


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


Internet Service Providers (ISPs): Argentine bases have WiFi provided by Argentinean internet provider Speedy, a fiber cable[clarification needed] on polar plateau which was installed in 2009.[citation needed]

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 which pass over Antarctica 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.

United States Bases: American Forces Antarctic Network AFAN McMurdo, on 93.9 MHz with 30 W and 104.5 MHz with 50 W. [3]

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. ^ http://www.southpolestation.com/news/news.html
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2009-11-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ AFAN McMurdo fmscan.org


External links

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