It’s what every mountaineer wants they reach the summit of Mount Everest, 3G high speed communication. “Hi honey, I’m on top of the world”.
Those who have trekked it to the top will soon able to call their mates, go on Facebook or Twitter and boast that they’ve got there thanks to TeliaSonera and its subsidiary in Nepal, Ncell, which have bought 3G to the Mount Everest area.
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.
A total of eight base stations, four of which will run on solar power, have been installed in the Everest region with the lowest at 2,870 metres (9,400 feet) at Lukla, where the airport for the area is situated, now giving climbers a cheaper means of communication.
And it’s not just good news for climbers as the company has said it will invest $100 million in a bid to expand the 3G network so the population of Nepal will be able to access these services.
According to the company, mobile penetration is still low, but rapidly rising. This trend is being driven largely by investments TeliaSonera and others are making in modern telecom infrastructure. When TeliaSonera entered Nepal in 2008, mobile penetration was around 15 percent, and by the end of the third quarter this year it was already over 30 percent.
“This is a great milestone for mobile communications, and strong evidence of TeliaSonera’s pioneering role in this industry that is truly changing the lives of billions of people”, said Lars Nyberg, President and CEO of TeliaSonera.
“We are very proud to announce the world’s highest mobile data service as we launch 3G services in the Mount Everest area in the Khumbu valley. From its perch on the world’s tallest mountain, 3G high speed internet will bring faster, more affordable telecommunication services to the people living in the Khumbu Valley, trekkers, and climbers alike”, he continued.