Everest region gets 3G coverage

Everest region gets 3G coverage

Summary: The Khumbu valley, which leads up to Mount Everest, now has 3G coverage, according to Nordic telco TeliaSonera.Ncell, a TeliaSonera subsidiary, launched 3G services covering the Khumbu region on Thursday.

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The Khumbu valley, which leads up to Mount Everest, now has 3G coverage, according to Nordic telco TeliaSonera.

Ncell, a TeliaSonera subsidiary, launched 3G services covering the Khumbu region on Thursday.

3G coverage on top of Mount Everest is a technical possibility, but the main aim is to provide coverage of the tourist walking route up to Everest, a TeliaSonera spokesman told ZDNet UK on Friday.

"The highest base station is at 5200m, which will provide coverage to [Everest south] base camp [at 5,360m], and above," said Thomas Jonsson, TeliaSonera vice president of external communication. "We've built [the network] to cover areas that are populated, and for tourists."

Ncell has ten base stations in the Khumbu area. The company protected the base stations from the weather fairly easily, said Jonsson, due to their small size. The main engineering difficulty had been building the sites, as there was no real road.

"Building the masts was a challenge," said Jonsson. "Everything had to be carried up there."

There is no power supply, so all of the base stations are solar powered with a battery backup. There is limited communications backbone in Nepal, so Ncell is using satellite communications to to relay signals from the base station, said Jonsson. The masts carry HSPA communications.

Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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