Worlds highest 3G network
Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, is now a part of the 3G network.The first 3G base station at the base camp of Mount Everest has just been installed giving visitors, climbers and people living in the Khumbu Valley the ability to make calls and wirelessly connect to the Internet
To test out the new facility, a Nepali telecom company Ncell made the world’s highest video call at 17,388 feet (5,300 meters), the area from where climbers begin the actual climb to Mount Everest.
In the past visitors had to depend on satellite phones to make calls. When Sir Edmund Hillary made the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953, he used runners to carry messages from his expedition to the nearest telegraph office.but Now they can do so through a standard GSM, 3G-enabled network. “The coverage of the network will reach up to the peak of the Everest,” Ncell Nepal chief Pasi Koistinen said to reporters in Kathmandu on Thursday.
There will be seven 3G base stations in the region, which will allow Everest trekkers to use wireless Internet and make video calls. Previously, climbers had to haul expensive satellite equipment up the 29,029 mountain to communicate. Cell phone service was available on the lower part of the mountain, but no Web service was available.
The 3G network on Everest will allow climbers to keep in touch with friend and family, and alert responders if an emergency occurs.
But, although bringing 3G to the Everest region is welcomed as an important step towards the development of a remote and poor area, there are those who mourn the loss of a wilderness. For them, Pasi Koistinen says there’s a solution.
“There’s always the switch on, switch off button on the phone. So it’s your choice”, he says.