Speedcast has signed an agreement to provide Mawson, Casey and Davis Research Stations, as well as Macquarie Island, with its VSAT systems.

The world’s most trusted provider of highly reliable, fully managed, remote communication and IT solutions has been awarded a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with an Australian Government department conducting world-class scientific and environmental research in Antarctica.

Speedcast will provide the Australian Antarctic programme with mission-critical and life-saving communications to the outside world.

Speedcast CEO Pierre-Jean Beylier said: “Being chosen to provide communications in Antarctica is both an honour and a testament to Speedcast’s commitment to supporting the Australian Government and enabling leading-edge research.

“Our team of highly qualified engineers is proud to provide 24/7 support and solutions to enable individuals in these remote and harsh locations to communicate with the outside world for day-to-day communication and in the event they need assistance in case of an emergency.

“This win is an example of the increase in government spending in satellite communications and Speedcast’s ability to grow market share as the government segment continues to expand.”

Speedcast will provide VSAT bandwidth, equipment and installation, including training, antenna upgrades and repositioning, as well as network optimisation.

Speedcast will also provide additional support to other scientific users such as Geoscience Australia at the three Australian Antarctic research stations.

With the updates Speedcast is making to the satellite links, the research programme will have four times more throughput than it had with their previous provider once installations are completed in January 2018.

While there may be up to 120 people on each research station in the summer, during the harsh winters of Antarctica when travel to the icy continent is not possible, the population of each research station is much smaller and satellite communication is their only link to the outside world. The reliability of these links is essential for the well-being of the wintering expeditioners and enables telemedicine support if required.