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TeliaSonera helps launch 3G on Mount Everest

TeliaSonera helps launch 3G on Mount Everest

Published: 29 Oct 2010 10:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Oct 2010 10:11 GMT+02:00

A subsidiary of Swedish phone giant TeliaSonera has enabled Mount Everest climbers to surf the web from their mobile phones and make video calls back home from the top of the world’s tallest peak.

Ncell, a Nepalese subsidiary of TeliaSonera, said Thursday it had set up a high-speed third-generation (3G) phone base station at an altitude of 5,200 metres near Gorakshep village in the Everest region.

"Today we made the (world's) highest video call from Mount Everest base camp successfully. The coverage of the network will reach up to the peak of the Everest," Ncell Nepal chief Pasi Koistinen told reporters in Kathmandu.

The installation will also help tens of thousands of tourists and trekkers who visit the world's highest mountain 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.

Climbers who reached its 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 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 below sea level in a mine in Europe.

Despite the installation in Everest, telecom services cover less than one-third of the 28 million people of Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world.

TeliaSonera said it planned to invest $100 million in the next year to ensure that mobile coverage increases to more than 90 percent of the Himalayan nation's population.

The 3G network on Everest puts TeliaSonera ahead of state-controlled Nepal Telecom, Indian-owned United Telecom and China Mobile.

Around 3,000 people have climbed to the Everest summit since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to conquer the peak in 1953.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:34 October 29, 2010 by Krishna Prasad Parajuly
You cannot say Nepal as a one of the poorest country just becauese Teliasonera covers relatively only a small potion of population. We have this state-owned Nepal Telcom which is unchallegeable for any company like yours.

By the way, do you have any authentic grounds to label Nepal as "poorest country". Its high time you replaced your old spectacles.
15:15 October 29, 2010 by Gletta
Great well done perhaps Telia can now set up a system where I, 4kms from the E6, 80kms from Gothenburg can receive any mobile phone signal
15:30 October 29, 2010 by byke
So this is where all the technology goes.

I cant even get a good internet connection in stockholm city via telia.
19:49 October 29, 2010 by mojofat
This is not only the most ridiculous, frivolous use of technology I've ever heard of, but it's only going to contribute to the further ruination of Mt. Everest. There are already too many dummies who decide they can climb that peak (with the help of a full team of pack servants, latest technology, and climbing experts)...this is only going to encourage more people to give it a go. Hey, I can update my facebook status from Mt. Everest!
03:54 October 30, 2010 by Swedesmith
Gee, that ought to come in handy for lots of folks.
14:45 October 30, 2010 by yractualpatience
Amazing.......even more wonderful if they could provide this service to rural Norrland! Just what are their proirities? And try getting connected without the daft Sweedle personnummer. Discrimination abounds!
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