China Mobile has asked Huawei, wannabe owners of 3Com, to install a GSM base station 6,500 metres up Mount Everest. This will create a cell which will cover the main route to the summit. It won't be the first time a call has been made from the summit - back in May a base station was established with line of sight to the peak, …
if Everest is too high for helicopters, black or otherwise, how do our Chinese friends intend to get the antenna up there? if its anything like the mobile mast that got put up at the end of our road, a slack handful of climbers aren't going to get it up there.
perhaps they could build some sort of giant catapult at the foot of the mountain, or maybe drop it from space using their new Chinese space podules? or form a human chain of Tibetan monks to hoist it to the top, which has the added advantage of freezing them to death and saving the Chinese authorities having to execute them later?
Maybe commercial reasons
A cynic would say that perhaps this is to squeeze those last few ringtones and Hollyoaks text message updates out of you before your fingers fall off.
"Ring the frozen corpse of your loved one for only £1.50 a minute!"
Since it tends to be a bit nippy up there I wonder how long the talktime will be before recharging is required. Which brings up the question of where you plug your recharger in when you are in a tent.
Satellite phones have been used up to now and of course radios for communication between climbers. There isn't much mileage in relying on the phone to call for help as there are a number of instances of transmissions simply being used as FINAL goodbyes. International rescue don't do rescues off Everest (Chumalunga), FAB.
I can see it now...
<Annoying Nokia Ring Tone>
YEAH, I'M UP EVEREST.
NO ; IT'S CRAP.
What next ? Masts on top of Nepalese monasteries ?!
HELLO! Can you hear me,...HELLO.., I'm up a mountain...NO MOUNTAIN....YES, A MOUNTAIN.....Can you check my diary, think I have meeting tomorrow...HELLO. Yes i'm Still here. HOLD ON THE SHERPA WANT'S ME...NOO THE SHERPA.....HOLD ON. Yes, what do you want?
I think you'll find 6500 metres is somewhat shy of the actual summit - 8848 metres.
Evidence has shown that...
...based on the experiences of the Ben Nevis team, the first call that will be made will go like this:
Op: Emergency services, which service do you require?
Climber: Mountain rescue, please.
How to get a mast up Everest
... About 4000 political priconers, half of them equipped with a couple of pounds of kit... the other half are used to pick up the dead who are carted off and used for spare transplant parts... and the survivors are marched off to install the next station on K2....
This is Sickening
As somewhat of a high altitude mountaineer, the thought of this turns my stomach.
Everest is already the domain of wannabes or those with more money then sense who have to get hauled up the mountain by Sherpa's.
Why don't they just build a Starbuck's on top, an esculator on the hillary step and get it over and done with.
Mallory and Irving must be "spinning in the grave" wherever they lie.
I couldn't really see it as being profitable, until I realized that even one roaming phone call from up there can pay for the mast's operation for the next 3 years...
It's all about the MMS Pictures...
Everyone wants to send an MMS postcard from Mount Everest!
"Look ma, no hands!"