This is a Space News article written by Jason Rainbow, May 13th 2022.
Satellite operators are venturing into the Arctic to improve connectivity as the changing atmospheric and geopolitical climate drives demand for more bandwidth in one of Earth’s last remaining frontiers.
Fledgling and established operators alike see a growing market for capacity in areas best served by satellites in non-geostationary orbit (NGSO).
OneWeb and SpaceX’s Starlink, the world’s largest broadband megaconstellations in low Earth orbit (LEO), already have polar-orbiting satellites in their expanding fleets.
SES is looking at using inclined planes to cover the Arctic with O3b mPower, its next-generation medium Earth orbit network that aims to start deploying satellites this year.
The Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM) — a joint venture between British satellite operator Inmarsat, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Air Force — plans to deploy two satellites in highly elliptical orbits on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in 2023 for polar coverage.
Russian Satellite Communications Co. (RSCC) has outlined plans to add four satellites in highly elliptical orbits to its fleet in the following years to extend coverage deep into the Arctic Circle.