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Mount Everest base camp gets 4G LTE connectivity

google-street-view-everest-635The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, now boasts of 4G network coverage allowing mountaineers to access high speed data services.

According to a press statement by Huawei, mobile operator China Mobile and equipment manufacturer Huawei have set-up the first ever 4G LTE TDD network at the Mount Everest base camp, which is at an altitude of 5,200 metres. The two companies had earlier deployed a GSM network at the same place in 2008 coinciding with the Olympic Games torch relay. Prior to that, Nepali telecom provider NCell had also setup a 3G network at the Mount Everest base camp. The network is home to world’s highest mobile network tower.

Talking about the service, President of Huawei Wireless Networks, David Wang, said, “Bringing 4G to Mount Everest marks an important milestone in global LTE TDD development. We are very excited to make this possible, and look forward to working with more operators worldwide to bring high-speed mobile broadband services anytime and anywhere.”

The network will offer increased connectivity including high speed data coverage to mountaineers in a bid to ensure their safety. The service was demonstrated last month by streaming a live video from the camp.

It’s worth pointing out that the 4G network at the Mount Everest base camp is based on LTE TDD technology, which is different from LTE FDD technology, used for offering 4G services in the US, European countries, Japan and Latin America, among others. LTE TDD is more prevalent in China, India and some African and European markets. So mobile handsets, data cards, wireless modems and tablets that feature chips compatible with LTE FDD would not work with the newly deployed network.