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Telenor opens world's southernmost mobile phone station in Antarctica

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's Telenor said on Monday it had opened the world's southernmost mobile phone base station in Antarctica, bringing regular cellphone services to a corner of the frozen continent for the first time.

The new 4G service covering the remote Troll research station and its surroundings will boost security for scientists and staff and enable the use of internet-of-things devices that collect and upload real-time information, the group said.

Troll, part of the Norwegian Polar Institute, is staffed year-round, conducting research and collecting data ranging from the study of glaciers and geology to the weather, climate and radiation.

The new service complements Telenor's recent establishment of the planet's northernmost mobile towers at the Ny-Aalesund settlement in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, said Telenor executive Christian Skottun, whose unit built both facilities.

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"This opens up new possibilities for collecting data from sensors in a harsh climate environment," Skottun told Reuters.

Although the mobile phone technology used is the same as elsewhere, special provisions were taken to protect the equipment from high-speed winds and low temperatures, he added.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Ed Osmond)