3G mobile comes to Everest

With all the sniping and griping on social networks, it’s rare that somebody posts to say they are feeling on top of the world. But that’s exactly what climbers at Mount Everest will soon be able to do.

Ncell, a subsidiary of a Swedish phone company, has set up eight 3G phone masts (four powered by solar energy) around and on the mountain, the highest being at 17,000 feet near Gorak Shep, the last stop on the route up to Everest’s base camp. The company has made a video call from the base camp and believes the 3G signal will be accessible from Everest’s 29,029 feet summit, though that’s not yet been tested for real.

Though the coverage may sound like a gimmick, it will be useful for climbers who currently communicate through an unreliable satellite connection. Up to 50 people will be able to use the service at the same time, with a speed of up to 3.6MB a second. That speed could be doubled if there is sufficient demand.

The announcement may earn some criticism about priorities as currently less than a third of people in Nepal have access to any form of telecommunication. However, Ncell’s parent company TeliaSonera says it plans to extend its mobile coverage to cover more than 90 percent of the country’s population.

Appropriately enough, TeliaSonera also claims the lowest 3G station in the world, in a European mine 4,595 feet below sea level.

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4 Responses to 3G mobile comes to Everest

  1. I guess the weren't lying about having the best reach in the world.

    Nah but seriously.. why be spending money on big headlines in news paper when some isolated places in sweden don't even have half the internet connection the fellas at the everest summit will have.

    But I guess it was a lot cheaper building this and get free publicity than paying for it via ads.

  2. To be fair, it does make sense.

    Which is actually more important? Letting lots of people download porn or letting a few people be able to contact emergency services if they're stranded halfway up a mountain?

  3. To be fair, it does make sense.

    Which is actually more important? Letting lots of people download porn or letting a few people be able to contact emergency services if they’re stranded halfway up a mountain?

  4. Good to know that there is now coverage at the top of Mount Everest. There are lots of tourists who climb up there and they need some real communication facilities up there. But don’t rejoice just yet as the highest reach in the world, Boeing just had installed wifi on their planes. They are truly the highest reach, not them.