Friday, October 29, 2010

3G Mobile Internet Comes to Mount Everest

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A private  Nepali telecom company Ncell took high speed Internet facilities to the top of the world on Thursday when it launched Nepal's first 3G services at the base camp of Mount Everest.

mount_everest

The 3G base station is located at an altitude of 5,200 meters.

Communication brings better opportunities and with the 3G services of Ncell, locals and trekkers can surf the web and make video calls at a lot cheaper rate than expensive satellite phones, Koistinen was quoted as saying by Ncell.

In order to make the 3G services available to locals and trekkers in the Khumbu area, Ncell has set up nine base stations -- in Lukla, Namche, Khumjung, Thame, Syanboche, Thyangboche, Kalapatthar, Phakding and Gorakshep.

According to the deputy chief technical officer of Ncell Sergey Gornostaev, of the nine base stations, three are powered by solar panels while the rest operate from the electricity from local hydro-power projects.

Ncell is a joint venture between private investors and Sweden-based telecom TeliaSonera. Ncell’s network currently covers less than one-third of Nepal’s population, but TeliaSonera said it planned to invest 100 million dollars in the next year to extend coverage to more than 90 percent of the country’s population.

“This achievement is as mighty as the altitude as 3G high speed internet will bring faster, more affordable telecommunication services to the people living in the Khumbu Valley, trekkers, and climbers alike,” said TeliaSonera CEO, Lars Nyberg.

Image: Rupert Taylor-Price, Flickr

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