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Hispasat, Conselh Generau d'Aran and Arantec sign an agreement to provide satellite connectivity to remote high mountain areas

 March 2, 2022

Hispasat, Conselh Generau d'Aran and Arantec, with the collaboration of the Department of the Vice-Presidency and Digital Policies and Territori, have presented this morning at MWC Barcelona 2022 a collaboration agreement for the deployment of satellite technology in remote high mountain areas and, at the same time, the development of pilot projects of intelligent connectivity applicable to the particularities of the territory and its needs.

The presentation was attended by Carlos Grau, CEO of MWCapital, Jordi Hereu, president of Hispasat, Maria Vergés, syndic of Aran and Esharc Jaquet, CEO of Arantec. It was also attended by the Secretary of Digital Policies of the Generalitat de Catalunya, David Ferrer, who stressed that "this collaboration to provide satellite coverage in high mountain areas is fully aligned with the digital strategy of the Government of the Generalitat to have a connected and vertebrate country, generator of equal opportunities for all citizens of Catalonia wherever they live". "Digital infrastructures must allow us to transform Catalonia into a country of progress and opportunities where digital innovation is the engine of our economy," he added.

The agreement reached establishes the deployment of a comprehensive solution of connectivity via broadband satellite and Internet of Things in a high mountain environment, specifically in the refuge of artiga de Lin, an area currently without coverage. Jordi Hereu, president of Hispasat, said that "this pilot is an opportunity of great interest to demonstrate how thanks to the universal connectivity of the satellite, the digital development of remote areas such as the Val d'Aran can be accelerated, its main productive activities can be boosted and the efficiency and accuracy of its emergency services improved".

Within the framework of the agreement, solutions will be deployed in areas such as health, emergency and security coverage, natural risk management or tourism activities. These are basic services that are affected by the low coverage in remote areas of some areas of the Val d'Aran. Having a satellite communication network will guarantee quality coverage in these environments.

Carlos Grau, CEO of MWCapital, said: "This agreement is of great value to MWCapital. We have been working for ten years to improve people's lives through technology and this agreement is a great example of this. Satellite technology will contribute to guaranteeing basic services, boosting the economic ecosystem and reducing the digital divide in rural and remote areas, providing solutions that will improve the opportunities of an area as valuable as the Val d'Aran".

The Ombudsman of Aran, Maria Vergés, has assured that "from the Conselh Generau d'Aran we are committed to the commitment to innovation and the retention of young talent, something that we promote through our HèPic rural innovation HUB, therefore, we celebrate being able to carry out this project, which we see as a great opportunity for our territory and that will have applications in key sectors such as livestock, the management of emergencies or attention to people, among others".

Specifically, during this pilot project, use cases will be studied, especially focused on emergency management in the mountains -thanks to the deployment of connectivity bubbles in high mountain shelters, the use of sensors for the prevention of falls and emergency vehicles with satellite connectivity in motion for accident monitoring-. In addition, work will be done to improve tourism activities -through IoT sensorization of cyclists and hikers, capacity control and access to car parks or the deployment of satellite WiFi points- and in the control of livestock, wildlife and the natural environment -through sensorization of animals and monitoring of avalanches and other natural phenomena-.

For its part, Arantec will be the company in charge of contributing its know-how in the design, deployment and commissioning of wireless sensor networks in hostile locations with adverse weather conditions, low data coverage and absence of energy. It will also provide its IoT Smarty Planet platform for data management and as an Early Warning System against dangers of meteorological origin.




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