Brazilian telecoms giant Oi SA has re-established operations in Antarctica, at the Comandante Ferraz military base, which was destroyed following a fire in February 2012. According to Telecompaper, the carrier will provide integrated voice telephony, data, mobile and television services to the base using freeze-proof antennae which are immune to the 200km per hour winds and temperatures of minus 20 degrees centigrade. To establish communication, the base connects via satellite uplink before connecting to the central wireless station in Rio de Janeiro. The cost of a call to Antarctica is reportedly the same price as a call to Rio.
Previously, in 2006, Oi SA claimed that it was the first Brazilian telco to provide integrated telecoms services to Antarctica. TeleGeography notes that Argentinian mobile operators Claro and Movistar provide alternative connectivity to Antarctica’s Argentine research stations, while the McMurdo Station, which is located on the southern tip of Ross Island, part of the New Zealand-claimed Ross Dependency, uses the New Zealand country calling code, +64. ‘.aq’ is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Antarctica; it is reserved for organisations that conduct work in Antarctica or promote the Antarctic and Southern Ocean regions.