Mt. Everest recovers from bad PR
Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world has long been vilified in the press, and rightly so. There’s really no upside to visiting this massive rock in the middle of nowhere. Reviews of the peak have consistently shown that it lacks even the most basic handicapped access and if you don’t “summit” or reach the top, there are no refunds!
While many expect those particular issues to persist, there has been a recent development which should turn around the mountain’s reputation a little. A private firm called Ncell has decided to introduce 3G high-speed cellular service to the peak’s base camp. It has already been installed and tested with the company reporting that the world’s highest video call was successfully completed on October 28, 2010.
The Solukhumbu district of Nepal receives tens of thousands of visitors each year and prior to the rollout of 3G services, climbers and hikers relied on expensive and unreliable satellite phones.
After the new update, visitors will now be able to update their Facebook page, send cameraphone pics of their blackened toes to mom and dad, and even tape a quick avalanche video for FailBlog if they so desire.
“This achievement is as mighty as the altitude as 3G high speed internet will bring faster, more affordable telecommunication services to the people living in the Khumbu Valley, trekkers, and climbers alike,” said Lars Nyberg, chief of Nordic telecoms firm TeliaSonera, which owns 80 percent of the firm that built the 3G station.
Ncell is a joint venture between local investors and TeliaSonera.
Hike Socal has been lucky enough to obtain what we believe is the very first 3G camera phone pic snapped at the peak. As you can see, the benefits of having your blackberry with you on the slopes of the world’s tallest mountain are beyond measure.