Arantec will collaborate in a pilot project to bring connectivity to high mountain areas of Val d’Aran. And yes, it is a special initiative for us, as we are playing at home, in the mountains that we know so well.
In addition to Arantec, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Hispasat and the Conselh Generau d’Aran are also participating in the development of the plan.
The ultimate goal is none other than to improve people’s quality of life. Thus, quality coverage through a satellite communication network allows, for example, the implementation of more efficient emergency services. Or the promotion of tourism through improved communications.
And factors such as these have a special weight when it comes to slowing down the depopulation of rural areas.
An appointment in Barcelona
The public presentation of the project to provide connectivity to high mountain areas was made on March 2, 2022 in Barcelona, with the Mobile World Congress as a backdrop. Months of meetings, videoconferencing and pooling culminated in an event broadcast via streaming in which the outlines and objectives of the initiative were sketched out.
The exhibition, as you can see in the video below, was attended by leading figures from the companies and public organizations that collaborate with and support the project:
- Carlos Grau (CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona)
- Jordi Hereu (President of Hispasat)
- Eisharc Jaquet (CEO of Arantec)
- Maria Vergés (Sindica d’Aran)
- David Ferrer, Secretary of Digital Policies of the Generalitat of Catalonia
A project for the people
As mentioned in the introduction, one of the main objectives of this initiative to provide connectivity in remote areas and make possible, for example, a satellite internet connection, is to improve the quality of life. And this desire encompasses both its inhabitants and the people who work in them or visit them for leisure.
The experience, initially, will be carried out in the surroundings of the Artiga de Lin refuge (Refugi dera Artiga de Lin), at the foot of the Aneto and Maladeta peaks, in the heart of the Pyrenees.
This is an area that, to date, lacks coverage. It is, therefore, the right place for the development of this pilot, allowing the validation of an initiative that, in the future, will make it possible:
- Develop telemedicine, providing remote medical support to people in the area.
- Improve emergency response and natural hazard management through the deployment of Internet of Things devices. Arantec will be one of the main responsible for the development of this task, contributing to the initiative with its technological solutions and know-how.
- Promote tourism activities by facilitating communication with mountain refuges.
- To control capacity and parking, avoiding overcrowding in natural areas so that they retain all their splendor.
- Monitor livestock to know their location, making the herders’ work easier.
Why is it useful to bring connectivity to high mountain areas and, in general, to rural areas?
Technological advances, one of the distinctive signs of the 21st century, have always left aside the high mountains and, by extension, all rural areas, turning them into isolated and depressed territories, sometimes lacking the most basic services. As a result, there are few options for developing a decent life project, a circumstance that drives young people to migrate to the cities where opportunities are concentrated.
But the abandonment of rural areas does not only translate into the loss of inhabitants. With them, popular lifestyles and traditions also disappear. And it also has a clear impact on the natural environment, as it has been shown that depopulation, crop neglect and lack of forest management lead to much more severe forest fires.
The availability of rural Internet and satellite connection could, however, reverse this situation. Territories such as Scotland and Peru, with their initiatives to improve communications in rural communities and remote settlements, demonstrate its benefits. Services such as distance education, teleworking, remote medical care or digital commerce contribute to revitalize towns, which end up becoming centers of attraction for people who want to escape from the vortex of the city.
We are very excited about this project to provide connectivity to high mountain areas. After all, we are an example of how technology and innovation can also flourish in a small town, Casau, with less than 100 inhabitants, although very close to Vielha.
Technological solutions, when used with a purpose that seeks to improve the quality of life, have the capacity to offer a more prosperous future. Using them wisely is in our hands.