Russian mobile major MegaFon to roll out $1bn Arctic network

Russian mobile major MegaFon to roll out $1bn Arctic network
RosGeologya research vessel Professor Logachev.
By bne IntelliNews July 21, 2020

Russian mobile major MegaFon together with state geology agency RosGeologya will launch the Arctic network project, which will become the fastest data transmission route from Europe to Asia by 2023, Vedomosti daily reported on July 20 citing the CEO of MegaFon, Gevork Vermishyan.

The first Arctic high-speed fibre cable would be laid along the Russian offshore coast of the Arctic Ocean together with Finnish infrastructure major Cinia at an estimated cost of $0.8bn-1.2bn.

Vermishyan said that most of the high-speed fibre connections are currently laid in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, while inter-continental data traffic is expected to jump 200% in the next five years. The Arctic line would not only serve for international transit of this traffic, but also would connect domestic Far East regions.

However, industry experts surveyed by Vedomosti believe that the project will not be sufficient to solve connectivity in the Russian Arctic, as it would only go onshore at certain points. It is more likely to be tackled by the state-financed programme of satellite connections, for which the government could allocate up to RUB40bn ($0.6bn).

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