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Nepal Telecom to Offer Mobile Coverage on top of Mount Everest

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Nepal Telecom is reported to be planning to expand its mobile phone networks to cover the summit of Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain (above sea level).

"We are planning to commence the service by mid-June this year," Anoop Ranjan Bhattarai, chief of NT's satellite division, told Republica. "We hope it will provide an alternative to those currently relying on satellite phone services such as the one provided by Thuraya."

NT is extending its cell phone network to the top of the world with the help of a satellite antenna, which will soon be installed in Gorak Shep, located at an altitude of 5,160 meters. NT has installed satellite antennas in around seven locations in the Mt Everest region, including Lukla and Namche Bazar, located at 2,800 meters and 3,440 meters above sea level, respectively.

The Chinese side of Mt Everest had GSM coverage added by Huawei during the Olympic Torch relay in 2008 when the Chinese Army took the torch up the mountain. China Mobile added 17 base stations during the network upgrade.

Other notable high altitude base stations can be found on the summit of Africa's tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

On the web: Republica

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