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
Myer CIO named retailer's new chief executive
Richard Umbers to lead data-driven retail strategy.
 
Empty terminals and mountains of data
Qantas CIO Luc Hennekens says no-one is safe from digital disruption.
 
BoQ takes $10m hit on Salesforce CRM
Regulatory hurdles end cloud pilot.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Microsoft is offering Azure for Disaster Recovery to Australian SMBs
Feb 10, 2015
If you haven't talked to your IT provider about disaster recovery, it might be worth discussing ...
The 2015 Xero Roadshow is on: here are the locations and dates
Feb 6, 2015
The 2015 Xero Roadshow kicked off this week - see where you can attend at locations around ...
Microsoft Outlook is now on iPhone and iPad: why could this be useful?
Jan 30, 2015
Microsoft today released Office for Android and Outlook for iOS - complementing the other Office ...
Franchisees, here's something you should know about
Jan 23, 2015
You need to know the Code if you are a franchisee or franchisor as the penalties are significant.
Xero users rejoice! Quoting has finally arrived
Jan 23, 2015
It has taken years, but Xero has at last added integrated quoting to its online accounting software.
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  35%
 
Your insurance company
  5%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  9%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  8%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  4%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  18%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  7%
TOTAL VOTES: 4015

Vote
Do you support the abolition of the Office of the Information Commissioner?

   |   View results
I support shutting down the OAIC.
  27%
 
I DON'T support shutting the OAIC.
  73%
TOTAL VOTES: 1372

Vote