3G Mobile Network Rolled Out On Mount Everest
Because we’ve grown so attached to our mobile phones and communicating with their help it’s of utmost importance to have network coverage wherever we go. And when we say everywhere, we actually mean everywhere. Recently a private telecom company started providing web access in one of the most unexpected and least technology friendly area of the world, Mount Everest. The installation that offers Nepal’s first 3G services at the base camp of Mount Everest will allow a high number of mountain climbers who are visiting the area to remain in touch with their families and friends.
Ncell, the mobile phone and internet operator in Nepal mentioned that it has set up the 3G base at an altitude of 5,200 meters (17,000 feet) in the proximity of the village Gorakshep. Aigars Benders, the chief technical officer at Ncell said: “The speed of the 3G services will be up to 3.6 MB per second”. Sounds pretty good, considering how hostile the environment there appears to be. “But we could have it up to 7.2 MB if there is demand” Benders added.
According to the CNN a total of nine stations, the lowest being at 9.400 feet and located at Lukla, started working on Thursday. As mentioned before, Ncell has come up with the service to cater to the needs of the roughly 30,000 tourists that come to trek in the region on each given year. Lars Nyberg, chief of Telia Sonera, a Nordic telecoms company who owns 80 percent of Ncell declared that this recent achievement is as “mighty as the altitude” since the 3G high speed Internet will provide faster, more affordable telecommunications services to the people living in the Khumbu Valley as well.
The world’s highest video call from Mount Everest took place on the same day. It was made from 5,300 meters (17.388 feet) from an area where climbers actually begin the climb on Mt. Everest. Ncell also revealed that TeliaSonera has plans to spend over $100 million to expand its facilities in Nepal in 2011. By the time they are through with implementing that plan over 90 percent of the local population will have mobile coverage.
The current facility offers high speed web surfing, enables users to sent videos and e-mails and call friends and family at significantly cheaper rates than when using a regular satellite phone.
Having said that, if you’re planning a trip to Mount Everest you won’t have to leave your mobile phone at home and you’ll definitely be able to use it to get in touch with your loved ones. Seeing as most people took such trips to get in touch with nature, have some peace and quiet as well as fresh air and conquer the mountain, we’re not that sure that adding mobile coverage to the mix is such a good thing. Then again, we live in a modern world and mountains will have to adapt to it as well. What do you think about this?11