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Climbers can now enjoy 3G voice and data coverage on Everest, extending up to its summit, courtesy of a Swedish-owned telecom.  (Source: AFP)

The coverage will also be a great boost to the impoverished Nepalese locals.  (Source: Gear Junkie)
Smartphone users can take a break from a long day of climbing and check their email

Things sure have changed since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.  Nepalese telecom group Ncell, a subsidiary of Swedish phone giant TeliaSonera, claims that it has transformed the summit of Everest into the world's highest wireless internet hot spot.

Mount Everest is an awe-inspiring peak, the world's tallest mountain above sea level.  Its elevation measures 8,848 meters (29,029 ft), as does its prominence.  Located in the Himalayas along the Nepal (Sagarmatha Zone)-China (Tibet) border, the peak has been climbed by many adventurers since 1953, some of which even made the ascent without oxygen. 

As of 2008 approximately 2,700 people had made approximately 4,100 ascents to the summit.  It costs over $25,000 for the permit to attempt an ascent.  To date 219 people are known to have perished attempting the climb.  In a gruesome reminder of these failed attempts, current climbers often see the corpses of the deceased, many of which have been left in place.

Now the climbers will have a much happier sight to comfort them in their trek -- mobile internet.  Before climbers largely relied on satellite phones on Everest, but these devices can be extremely expensive -- especially for data -- and sometimes don't work due to line-of-sight issues.  The China-facing slope has been partially covered by China Mobile since 2007, but that coverage was voice only.

The new service from Ncell may seem merely like a publicity stunt, but it will likely be helpful to climbers in case of an accident.  Ncell has set up coverage originating from a series of eight base stations, going up to a station situated at 5,200 meters (17,000 ft) near the tiny Gorakshep village.  Four of these stations are solar powered.

Lars Nyberg, chief executive of TeliaSonera, which owns 80 percent of Ncell hailed the achievement, stating, "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."

Ncell Nepal chief Pasi Koistinen, speaking to reporters in Kathmandu added, "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."

Based on Mr. Koistinen's statements, it appears the summit will be covered, though it's unclear how much of the mountain face will be covered by the installed infrastructure at the base stations.

The coverage will be equally valuable to local people as it is to climbers.  Despite the draw of having some of the world's tallest peaks, Nepal is among the world's poorest nations.  Current cell phone infrastructure only covers a third of the nation's 28 million people, most of whom live a largely subsistence lifestyle.  TeliaSonera wants to invest $100M USD to bump this coverage up to 90 percent.  With the addition of its new Everest network, the company now has Nepal's greatest percent coverage, ahead of state-run Nepal Telecom, Indian-owned United Telecom and China Mobile.

TeliaSonera already held the distinction of offering the world's lowest altitude cell phone service, offering 3G coverage in a European mine that measures 1,400 meters (4,595 feet) below sea level.

Aside from their pristine beauty, recent melting in the Himalayas has brought them to the center of the global warming controversy.  Some are claiming that the change is atypical and caused by humans, while others attributed the melting trend to natural variations in the Earth's climate.  Climate skeptics are sure to note the fact that early claims about Himalayan melting rates made by the UN's International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were shown to be exaggerated, forcing the partial retraction of a major warming report.




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It's not very professional
By corduroygt on 10/29/2010 12:25:22 PM , Rating: 5
To put a paragraph on global warming controversy on an article completely unrelated to it. Looks like forum trolling more than a news site. I'd take that off if I were you JM.




RE: It's not very professional
By CharonPDX on 10/29/2010 12:31:47 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, for the love of Pete!

<facepalm>

Yeah, every article that even HINTS at global warming gets flooded with stupid replies. (Regardless of which side you're on, half of the replies you'll think are stupid.)

ENOUGH ALREADY DAILYTECH!

Can't we just make articles about the subject of the article? (And, for that matter, stop with the obviously biased (in both directions - what's with that?) articles on global warming itself.

I'm sorry, but "unbiased reporting" does *NOT* mean "put up an article from the extreme of each side". Sometimes, the middle really is the dominant position, there's no reason to foist upon us opposing articles both dripping with massive one-sidedness. (Oh, but each will have one paragraph at the end acknowledging that there is another view.)


RE: It's not very professional
By JasonMick on 10/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: It's not very professional
By JasonMick on 10/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: It's not very professional
By 2uantuM on 10/29/2010 12:51:09 PM , Rating: 5
We can't stop ourselves from reading something unless we know what's in it -- and we can't do that without reading it! Maybe you should put a disclaimer before anything completely unrelated to the article (sarcasm).

The only thing you accomplished was making DT appear biased (which maybe it is).


RE: It's not very professional
By JasonMick on 10/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: It's not very professional
By invidious on 10/29/2010 1:37:17 PM , Rating: 5
Wrong, the article is not about the Himalayas, the article is about telecommunications. The Himalayas portion of it is backstory. If you can't think of something telecom related to segway into then dont segway into anything.


RE: It's not very professional
By MrPickins on 10/29/2010 8:25:13 PM , Rating: 2
Just replying because I accidentally rated your post down when the truth is that I completely agree with you.


RE: It's not very professional
By Crassus on 10/31/2010 10:38:35 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely agree. Someone further down mentioned battery problems at low temperatures - that would have been something to mention. But AGW - again? And then insulting your readers? I've been a reader for years, but I don't need to have this. Bye.


RE: It's not very professional
By deputc26 on 10/31/2010 12:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
While another skeptic of agw, I am still annoyed by Jason's habitual injection of unrelated partisan ideas into tech news.


RE: It's not very professional
By invidious on 10/29/2010 1:33:51 PM , Rating: 5
Its more like an annoying neighbor who is a saleman, and every time you try to have a friendly conversation with him he transitions it into a sales pitch. Eventually you just dont want to talk to him.


RE: It's not very professional
By 2uantuM on 10/29/2010 12:46:17 PM , Rating: 3
Just because news sites often tie past stories to current ones, it doesn't mean you have to. You should have left global warming out of it rather than making a stretch to connect cell phones and global warming. They have NOTHING to do with each other.


RE: It's not very professional
By JasonMick on 10/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: It's not very professional
By 2uantuM on 10/29/2010 12:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
By your logic, you should mention global warming every time you have a report about something in the United States!


RE: It's not very professional
By 2uantuM on 10/29/2010 12:53:50 PM , Rating: 3
It's also very unprofessional to insult your readers. Is this really what DT needs?

Your readers are your customers, and I'm sure DT isn't posting articles out of the goodness of your heart. Ever hear the expression "the customer is always right?"


RE: It's not very professional
By JasonMick on 10/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: It's not very professional
By 2uantuM on 10/29/2010 1:14:03 PM , Rating: 5
There is still absolutely no reason to bring up global warming in an article about cell phone reception on Everest. However, I regress. Your arrogance clearly blinds you from being able to comprehend that concept.


RE: It's not very professional
By overzealot on 10/31/2010 6:25:25 AM , Rating: 2
I love a good regression, much better than digression.
Reminds me of ubik. And the Mario Bros movie.


RE: It's not very professional
By 2uantuM on 11/1/2010 2:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
lol, whoops. Good catch.


RE: It's not very professional
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2010 7:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Journalism isn't about pleasing customers. It's about sharing accurate information in an understandable format and offering insight into the world around us.


LOL well in that case, don't quit your day job!


RE: It's not very professional
By sprockkets on 10/29/2010 11:19:28 PM , Rating: 4
Wait, don't you mean, DO quit your day job?


RE: It's not very professional
By Flunk on 10/29/2010 1:11:09 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty big stretch. Maybe if your article had been about ranching in the Himalayas or fossil-fuel based power plants it would make a bit more sense.

On another subject, I actually agree with you. A link between carbon emissions and global climate hasn't been conclusively proven. Not only that but be don't really have anywhere enough data on Earth's climate to know if this is even abnormal. But let's save that for stories about global warming research and possibly electric cars.


RE: It's not very professional
By adpr02 on 10/29/2010 1:32:39 PM , Rating: 5
Jason, I never posted before, but wanted to give you my input. I agree that the two articles are completely unrelated. The last paragraph sticks out like a sore thumb. It made an otherwise great article look amateur-ish.

Also, what are you thinking, man? Insulting your readers like that? The guy has a valid point, and it seems like you are the one not comprehending.

Yes, global warming should be talked about, but it has it's proper place. And this article is about cell phone coverage, not global warming. If you need a reminder of that, please read the title.


RE: It's not very professional
By Boze on 11/4/2010 9:14:20 PM , Rating: 2
I actually thought Tiffany wrote this article until I saw Jason's replies.

Now speaking directly to you Jason... I just don't know about you buddy... sometimes you put out some pretty good articles that aren't too sensationalist, sometimes you put out some true crap, and occasionally you put out a "Huh...?" article like this one.

"All we want are the facts." needs to be updated a bit. I guess I'll take it upon myself... "All we want are the relevant facts."


RE: It's not very professional
By wordsworm on 11/3/2010 10:45:38 AM , Rating: 1
Honestly, I think you ought to take the tone with a grain of salt and actually see that what he's saying has a lot of merit. You wrote a fairly interesting article, and then capped it off with an off handed remark which has nothing to do with the topic of the article.

What I find funny, though, about a lot of the comments against writers at these hybrid blog/news sites is that the writers are not journalists or trained writers. The expectations of readers are too high and are entirely unrealistic. Readers ought to take articles like these with a grain of salt. But it wouldn't be a bad idea for the writers to take valid criticism from time to time to hone their craft.

This reply of yours, however, is kind of a surprise. I always thought you were left of centre. But this certainly smacks of right wing nut job to me like that other writer who used to write idiotic 'scientific' pieces slinging his brand of anti-environmental propaganda whenever he had the chance.

Seriously, if you wanted to talk about global warming and the Himalayas, you ought to have done so in a separate article.


RE: It's not very professional
By Boze on 11/4/2010 9:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What I find funny, though, about a lot of the comments against writers at these hybrid blog/news sites is that the writers are not journalists or trained writers. The expectations of readers are too high and are entirely unrealistic. Readers ought to take articles like these with a grain of salt.


As soon as you post something on the Internet for every single human being with a connection to read, you open yourself up for criticism. Ideally, it should come in a constructive form, but even harsh criticism is better than no criticism at all - no criticism implies no one cares.


RE: It's not very professional
By kraeper on 10/29/2010 12:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you're going to say that cell phones cause global warming.. then no, bringing it into this article is not relevant in any way. It's not called "Himalayan warming". It's "global" warming. As such, saying that one specific region must bring up the debate is a pretty weak defense.


RE: It's not very professional
By Chaser on 10/29/2010 1:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
How about we stick with the topic rather than a bait and switch during any part of the story?

This reminds me of current television advertising. the trick is to start a commercial with some kind of eye grabber to get your attention completely unrelated to the product they are touting.

Then once they know they have your attention the product or business is given it's due at the end.
quote:
Considering that flaws/misrepresentations in the supposed melt data/predictions from the Himalayas have already been found, this issue certainly warrants further examination in my mind and is VERY pertinent.


Jason although we appreciate your sincere desire to further our knowledge of current events plugging a global warming cut into a "tech add" regarding cell phone coverage in an usual location was ridiculous.
quote:
Perhaps you don't see the significance of an issue where trillions in taxpayer dollars are at stake, but some might...
Perhaps you don't see the journalistic dishonesty you used in this post. I think you can trust your readers to worry about "trillion's of dollars" related to global warming whereas you should be concerned about maintaining the professional ethic of your topic.


RE: It's not very professional
By corduroygt on 10/29/2010 2:10:50 PM , Rating: 1
Jason, this article is more about the advancement of technology and getting cell phone coverage in remote locations. The significance of Mt. Everest in this story is it's remoteness, not whether the glaciers are melting or not.

A better tie-in story would be something about cell phone coverage and federal subsidies for it in USA or something.

There are plenty of articles for AGW debate on DT, you didn't have to make this one of them.


RE: It's not very professional
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: It's not very professional
By omnicronx on 10/29/2010 2:53:37 PM , Rating: 3
And yet, you've all taken the bait.

I count 4 posts out of the 32 that actually relate to the topic and are not whining about the last paragraph.. (and the other 4 are complaining about something else)

Get this through your heads guys, if this is how you really feel, you are not helping anything by mass complaining about it. Just not responding to the last paragraph at all would have a far better effect.

If what you are saying is true, he is merely looking for a reaction, then quite frankly you've given him exactly what he is supposedly looking for.


RE: It's not very professional
By 0ldman on 10/30/2010 2:16:38 PM , Rating: 3
Wish I could bump this past 5.

JasonMick, you may want to take a step back and think about the situation.

No one is telling you to not report the news, but this is akin to a report on a fiber optics in Florida and bringing up Ted Bundy during every mention of Florida.

Dead horse + baseball bat = dailytech?

If I read your comments correctly, I agree with your stance on global warming. I do not, however, agree with throwing it in every article possible.

If you were a forum member turning every thread into a global warming argument, you'd have been banned.

Good day.


World's tallest?
By vailmcc on 10/29/2010 12:21:20 PM , Rating: 1
Mr. Nyberg should get his facts straight. Everest isn't the tallest mountain in the world, and Mauna Kea has had cell service for years.




RE: World's tallest?
By kcjaph on 10/29/2010 12:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
Quit being a tool. It's great that you are proud of your $0.02 knowledge, but the title of the article states "World's Highest Above-Water Peak". At 13,796' above sea level, Mauna Kea has 371 known peaks higher than it in the world.


RE: World's tallest?
By vailmcc on 10/29/2010 1:34:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not talking about the title of the article, tool-less. Mauna Kea is the world's tallest mountain.


RE: World's tallest?
By seamonkey79 on 10/29/2010 2:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
hence the "above sea level" in the description of thoe Everest.


RE: World's tallest?
By omnicronx on 10/29/2010 2:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
Learn to READ. It clearly states above sea level. The base of Mauna Kea is closer to sea level then everest, and thus is the worlds tallest mountain from base to peak.

The fact remains that Everest has the highest peak in the world, and thus gains the title of the worlds tallest mountain.


RE: World's tallest?
By omnicronx on 10/29/2010 3:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
Heck its only even close to the tallest mountain from base to peak if you start the base at the ocean floor. (i.e 2/3 of the volcano is under wanter).

I've seen the peak from the top of Haleakala on Maui which is 10k feet above sea level and Mauna Kea is only a little taller. Maybe 13-14 thousand feet high.


RE: World's tallest?
By vailmcc on 10/29/2010 3:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly why some people shouldn't breed.
I'll use smaller words this time. Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world from base to peak. Now, above sea level, yes, Mt. Everest is considered by most to be the tallest.
I found a site, with pictures, to help some of you along....
http://geology.com/records/highest-mountain-in-the...

Lars Nyberg, chief executive of TeliaSonera, which owns 80 percent of Ncell hailed the achievement, stating, "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."
Mr. Nyberg apparently attended the 'Steve Jobs School of Sound Bites'.


RE: World's tallest?
By omnicronx on 10/29/2010 5:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is exactly why some people shouldn't breed.
My sentiments exactly..

1)TALL != HIGH I could be 3 inches tall, and you could be 10 feet tall, but if I'm sitting on a 10 foot stool, I'm still sitting higher.

2)When he does mention tallest, he specically stated by what criteria, i.e Sea level.

In other words, you are wrong in either any way you want to swing it, by specifically mentioning above sea level he all but omits Mauna Kea in the first place.

Its the Highest, and the Tallest mountain from sea level. Nothing more to see here.


RE: World's tallest?
By surt on 10/30/2010 11:03:06 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you. Some people just can't think.


RE: World's tallest?
By cyclosarin on 10/29/2010 3:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
Just for grins...

Determining the tallest mountain depends on the frame of reference. Using MSL as the reference Everest is the tallest. Using the Earth's center of mass Chimborazo is the tallest. Mauna Kea can be considered as the tallest but it requires a peculiar definition of tallest...that still leaves room for interpretation as to if Everest is still taller...


RE: World's tallest?
By omnicronx on 10/29/2010 5:27:20 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, its true, it all depends on the frame of reference.. (in terms of how tall something is)

That being said, he stated the frame of reference, sea level ;)


RE: World's tallest?
By vailmcc on 10/29/2010 6:41:07 PM , Rating: 3
Uh, No, he didn't. The writer of this article did, but that's not who I'm talking about. Jesus.


RE: World's tallest?
By cyclosarin on 10/29/2010 8:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
Aww but it's Mick...he never said sea level he said above-water.


Whatever
By AssBall on 10/29/2010 12:07:52 PM , Rating: 4
Way to sneak in that last, useless paragraph, Mick. Guess there wasn't enough controversy in this article for Ya?




RE: Whatever
By undummy on 10/29/2010 12:26:09 PM , Rating: 3
So true. Read through the article then BANG global warming BS......WTF
Why and where'd did that eco-crap come?


RE: Whatever
By JediJeb on 10/29/2010 2:08:36 PM , Rating: 4
Reminds me of almost every show on the Discovery Channel now, no matter what the subject it has to be tied into global warming somehow. Just like a show recently where they talked for two hours about an extinction event millions of years ago and in the final minutes they theorized it was caused by global warming from a large release of methane from the sea floor. Of course if you really think about it maybe the methane killed everything instead of global warming.


Technical Difficulties
By brshoemak on 10/29/2010 3:00:50 PM , Rating: 3
All I know is that I don't want to be the guy who has to trek up 17,000 feet to that village to reset the router.




RE: Technical Difficulties
By StevoLincolnite on 10/29/2010 3:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno... I think it would make a very nice morning stroll.


RE: Technical Difficulties
By wordsworm on 11/3/2010 10:55:35 AM , Rating: 2
I read a story a long time ago about how some companies in Japan require you to clime Mt. Fuji before they'll let you submit your resume. Maybe that's what they'll make Nepalese do before they can work for the teleco.


great now people can...
By superPC on 10/29/2010 12:21:58 PM , Rating: 2
post status update, picture and tweet from K2 base. mountain climbing is not what it used to be.




RE: great now people can...
By kraeper on 10/29/2010 12:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
Uhhh.. you know that K2 is nowhere near Everest, right?


RE: great now people can...
By v9s on 10/29/2010 2:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
K2 is in Pakistan


I like this caption...
By FormulaRedline on 10/29/2010 2:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The coverage will also be a great boost to the impoverished Nepalese locals.
...because The first thing that comes to mind when I think of impoverished Nepalese locals is to ask whether they have an iPhone or chose to go an Android platform instead.




Will their phones work?
By vailmcc on 10/29/2010 3:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
This is all fine and dandy, except for the fact that very few, if any, cellphones will work at the temperatures encountered on Everest. At very cold temperatures, their batteries won't hold a charge.




By vailr on 10/29/2010 4:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
The top of Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is the point of land furthest anywhere, measured from the center of the Earth. Due to it being closer than Mount Everest to the Earth's equatorial bulge.
See:
http://www.answers.com/topic/chimborazo-volcano




While the arguments fly,
By croc on 10/30/2010 12:06:24 AM , Rating: 2
I cooked up an excellent bread pudding to go with my steak and kumara for tomorrow evening....




By bkslopper on 10/30/2010 9:56:43 AM , Rating: 2
Like the Apollo moon missions, early climbers of Everest were pushing the boundaries of human exploration. Now we get to the top, check Twitter, and play Farmville on Facebook.




Coverage
By cyberdunks on 11/4/2010 1:15:55 AM , Rating: 2
So, Everest already had cell coverage, but the addition of 3G is so needed... I know I don't have 3G/4G coverage here where I live (20 miles from Sprint Headquarters).. but Everest, now its a priority.




Yeha, but...
By zinfamous on 10/29/2010 1:24:24 PM , Rating: 1
...will those batteries work? I imagine that altitude and temp will render most smartphone batteries useless, no?

also, love the trolling commentary masked as "journalistic integrity" from those brought up on blogs.

for christ's sake, if you're out to find what you call "psuedo-science" in every article you read, you're going to find it.

How about you fools write your own articles and post them here?




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