Mount Everest gains its own mobile phone base station

 

TeliaSonera climbs a mountain to gain subscribers.

Scandinavian telecoms company TeliaSonera has scaled the peaks of 3G provision with a service in the Mount Everest area of Nepal.

The company’s local subsidiary Ncell has installed a 3G base station to allow locals and mountaineers to keep in touch with their families and friends. By the end of next year, Ncell plans to be providing a network for over 90 percent of the country.

The new base station has been erected at 5,200 metres above sea level and will provide cheaper calls than the satellite links that were previously used, the company claimed.

"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 chief executive of TeliaSonera.

Finnish climber Veikka Gustafsson explained what the new network will mean to future mountaineers.

“The first time I came to Himalaya in 1993, the satellite phone equipment weighed more than 100 kilograms," he said. "Today, vastly better handsets only weigh some hundred grams.”

“The evolution of handsets and how information is transmitted has been unbelievably fast during the last 20 years. This has naturally made mountain climbing as a pursuit a bit easier and safer, but it’s only a part of the story.

“The change from fixed telephony to a mobile world in, for instance, Finland was only a small step compared to the impact that mobile telephony is bringing to these remote areas. Until now, the only way to communicate in the mountains has been to carry messages by foot,” he explained.

It is not surprising therefore that Nepal and telecoms might not have sprung to many minds in the past, but TeliaSonera, through Ncell, has already seen the penetration of 3G communications jump from 15 percent of the population in 2008 to over 30 percent at the end of the last quarter, the company said. In human terms that means around 8.7 million subscribers.

These are not all TeliaSonera customers, which claimed to have 3.7 million subscribers. The company has been competing with two other mobile providers: the national Nepal Telecom and United Telecom Limited (UTL), a consortium of three Indian companies working with a local service supplier.

This article originally appeared at itpro.co.uk

Copyright © ITPro, Dennis Publishing


Mount Everest gains its own mobile phone base station
 
 
 
Top Stories
How hard do you hack back?
[Blog post] Taking the offensive could have unintended consequences.
 
Five zero-cost ways to improve MySQL performance
How to easily boost MySQL throughput by up to 5x.
 
The big winners from Defence’s back-office IT refresh
Updated: The full list of subcontractors.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
This 4G smartphone costs $219
Sep 3, 2014
It's possible to spend a lot less on a smartphone if you're prepared to go with a brand you ...
Looking for storage? Seagate has five new small business NAS devices
Aug 22, 2014
Seagate has announced a new portfolio of Networked Attached Storage (NAS) solutions specifically ...
Run a small business in western Sydney?
Aug 15, 2014
This event might be of interest if you're looking to meet other people with a similar interest ...
Buying a tablet? Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 goes on sale this month
Aug 8, 2014
Microsoft has announced its Surface Pro 3 will go on sale in Australia on 28 August from ...
Apple's top MacBook Pro with Retina is now cheaper
Aug 1, 2014
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro range with faster processors and new pricing, including ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Which is the most prevalent cyber attack method your organisation faces?




   |   View results
Phishing and social engineering
  68%
 
Advanced persistent threats
  3%
 
Unpatched or unsupported software vulnerabilities
  11%
 
Denial of service attacks
  6%
 
Insider threats
  12%
TOTAL VOTES: 1013

Vote