Visitors to the South Side of Everest now have more options for staying in touch while trekking and climbing in the Khumbu Valley. According to this story over at Mashable, Nepali cell phone company Ncell has installed a 3G base station on Everest, and tested it out by making the world’s highest video call from 5300 meter (17,388 feet).
The story from Mashable says that the base station was installed “at the summit” but this article from Reuters says that it’s actually in Base Camp, which makes more sense. The new 3G network will offer good voice coverage of course, but climbers should be more excited about the improved data service this will offer allowing for faster, more reliable Internet access while in BC, and climbing,for two months at a time. It should be a lot cheaper than using satellite as well.
Reading stories like this it never fails to amaze me how good cell service can be in other parts of the world. While I was in the Khumbu this past spring, our guides had cell service for much of the trek, yet I could barely get coverage in Yellowstone while visiting there in early September. Likewise on Kilimanjaro a few years back, when my guide seemingly had service all the way to the summit, and yet I get dead zones right here in Austin, Texas.
This is seriously great news for climbers though. They can now feed their iPhone addictions while acclimatizing in Base Camp. Big thanks to Rick from BestHike for sending this my way.
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