Faroese telecommunications company Føroya Tele has joined forces with Shetland Space Centre (SSC) to form an exclusive international partnership that aims to develop the space industry in the two countries and beyond.
Føroya Tele currently provides Shetland and Orkney with access to high speed fibre broadband through its SHEFA cable and will now be the supplier of infrastructure supporting both high speed fibre broadband and future 5G to SSC. Føroya Tele will also provide technical and commercial support for ground station activity and data download and storage in Unst, Shetland’s third largest and most northerly island. SSC will provide specialist support for the establishment of a Faroese ground station.
Frank Strang, founder and director of SSC, says: “The Faroese share our ‘can do’ culture and love to get on with it and make things happen. There are already established links between our two groups of islands and this partnership makes absolute commercial and cultural sense. The strategy is to create a network of satellite tracking stations, making the best use of our geography and locations.”
Føroya Tele is currently conducting preliminary research on an Arctic satellite program in partnership with strategic allies in the region.
“The space economy is moving at a tremendous speed and I believe that we have to be able to match that pace to maximize the huge opportunities that exist in the commercialisation of space,” says Jan Ziskasen, CEO of Føroya Tele.
SSC is a privately-funded company that aims to establish a ground station in Unst by late 2019. American global security and aerospace company, Lockheed Martin, is collaborating in the project and will bring valued experience and expertise.
Jan Ziskasen adds: “This projects suits Føroya Tele very well. It is imperative that we take part in the development and business opportunities in this industry. We are thrilled to join forces with SSC and Lockheed Martin and are excited by the opportunities that this co-operation can lead to.”
Words: Levi Hanssen, Faroeislands.fo