- The cell phone tower will be erected at an altitude of 5,200 metres
- The tower is being built by Ncell, a private sector telecommunication company in Nepal
- The company said it would install base transceiver stations (BTS) in at least five locations
Other than your usual hilly destinations, you now have an addition to your 'work from home' escape, just in case the COVID-19 pandemic forces physical office closures. Mt. Everest is soon going to have the world's highest cell phone tower -- at an altitude of 5,200 metres, which will provide dedicated ultra-fast 4G connectivity.
According to a report with the Kathmandu Post, the cell phone tower on Mount Everest is being built by Ncell, a private sector telecommunication company in Nepal.
The Everest base camp already has 4G service but there is no dedicated infrastructure. Improved Internet service will help in disaster risk management and minimisation as the Sagarmatha or Everest region is located in a geographically remote area, the report said.
The company said it would install base transceiver stations (BTS) in at least five locations in the Everest region, ranging in elevation from 3,830 to 5,204 metres above sea level, to serve mountain communities.
"If things go as per our plan, we will have our 4G live in the area by the fourth quarter this year," Ncell said in a statement.
According to Ncell, an initial report has shown that 4G signal can be received on the Everest summit at 8,848.86 metres. It said the exact result would be known after the test is successful.
"In the old days, climbers and trekkers used to carry satellite phones, which were expensive and required permits," said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
"It was a big hassle."
The 4G service will create a positive impact on locals in the remote mountainous region, particularly in search and rescue efforts.
"Indeed, it's welcome news," said Sherpa.
The Everest region receives nearly 60,000 trekkers and mountaineers annually.
It is a high revenue-generating segment of the tourism industry of Nepal because of the allure of the world's highest peak.