Tech savvy polar bears can now take advantage of wireless networking after two Intel employees on an expedition deployed what is thought to be the world's most northerly Wi-Fi hotspot.
The 802.11b/g wireless access point has been installed on the Barneo ice camp, situated 80 miles from the northern tip of the planet. The company also has three Centrino notebooks for camp staff to file reports or for entertainment.
"Where to test new equipment and technologies if not at the North Pole?" said Dmitry Shparo, a Russian polar explorer who was at the Barneo camp at the time of the experiment.
"Polar explorers need multimedia, mobile and communication technologies as they need to feel in touch with the rest of the planet, to communicate with people at the mainland, to view their favourite movies and listen to their favourite music.
"Modern high technologies provide great progress even on a purely personal plane."
In the experiment team members paid bills remotely and monitored real-time weather forecasts.
There have been some problems with the climate, however. The air temperature seldom rises above -30 degrees Fahrenheit, which harms batteries and can cause condensation problems with the laptops' circuitry.
The explorers also visited NP-33, the only floating polar station in the world. There they presented the station head with a new laptop and got a certificate in return stating that Centrino technology works at the North Pole.
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