The summit of Mount Everest now sports a 3G signal, enabling climbers to access the internet and make video calls from the top.
From the AFP:
Ncell, a subsidiary of Swedish phone giant TeliaSonera, says it has set up a high-speed third-generation (3G) phone base station at an altitude of 5,200 metres (17,000 feet) near Gorakshep village in the Everest region.
“Today we made the (world’s) highest video call from Mount Everest base camp successfully,” Ncell Nepal chief Pasi Koistinen told reporters in Kathmandu on Thursday.
“The coverage of the network will reach up to the peak of the Everest,” he added.
Climbers who reached Everest’s 8,848-metre peak previously depended on expensive and erratic satellite phone coverage and a voice-only network set up by China Mobile in 2007 on the Chinese side of the mountain.
The installation will also help tens of thousands of tourists and trekkers who visit the Everest region every year.
“This is a great milestone for mobile communications as the 3G high speed internet will bring faster, more affordable telecommunication services from the world?s tallest mountain,” said Lars Nyberg, chief executive of TeliaSonera, which owns 80 percent of Ncell.
The 3G services will be fast enough to make video calls and use the Internet, said the company, which also claims the world’s lowest 3G base at 1,400 metres (4,595 feet) below sea level in a mine in Europe.