undersea cable

Svalbard Undersea Cable System

The Svalbard Undersea Cable System consists of two 1400 km long submarine communications cables from Harstad on the Norwegian mainland to Svalbard. It is operated by Telenor and officially opened 2004-02-01. Its capacity is used by NASA, the United States Department of Defense, the European Space Agency, UNIS and others.

It was built 2003 by Tyco Telecommunications (Morristown, New Jersey, USA) for the Norwegian Space Centre. The earth/ground station on Svalbard is a key site for collecting remote sensing data from polar orbiting satellites, such as those from NOAA, due to its close proximity to the north pole (many of these satellites are polar orbitors; e.g. follow an orbit which almost crosses over the pole). It is operated as an extension of the main Norwegian ground station in Tromsø (the Tromsø Satellite Station, see Swedish Institute of Space Physics).


The system consist of 2 independent and diversely routed fibre optic segments, each with 20 repeaters on the sub sea part.

Distance covered between Svalbard and Breivika Distance covered between Breivika and Harstad
Segment 1 1375 km (172 km of this buried) Segment 1a 61 km
Segment 2 1339 km (173 km of this buried) Segment 2a 74 km

Currently only one of the 8 optical fibres of each cable is in use, yielding a 10 Gbit/s transmission capacity per cable, with a prospective maximum capacity of 2500 Gbit/s per cable.

The cable has three landing points located at:


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