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Mount Everest gets 3G coverage


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Hold on, there's an avalanche coming

Mount Everest has been equipped with 3G coverage by a subsidiary of TeliaSonera, Nepalese wireless operator Ncell.

Eight base stations, four of them powered by solar energy, have been fixed to the mountain, with the highest located nearly 17,000 feet up. Until now China Mobile has had partial coverage of the lower Chinese side of the mountain.

From its perch on the worlds 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,” said Lars Nyberg, president of TeliaSonera.

Getting reliable coverage in such mountainous terrain has limited the spread of both wireless and wired telecommunications in the country. TeliaSonera has committed $100m to Ncell and aims to have 90 per cent of the Nepalese population in mobile coverage by the end of next year.

It will be a change for the local people and will be key to the development of the area, said Finnish climber Veikka Gustafsson, who has been leading expeditions in the Himalayas for the last 20 years.

Up until these days most of the people's information has travelled on feet. In the early days we would hire mail runners to carry messages from village to village until it got to the airport.

The announcement is however bad news for satellite operators. Some satellite packages cost thousands of dollars a month in contract fees and dollars a minute to call. With an estimated 30,000 visitors a year, the Himalayas would have been a lucrative market.

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:dance2: can`t wait to go there and use the 3G service.... B)

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