5G in Mt Everest! But not in Nepal Base Camp

In April 19, China Mobile successfully operated the 5G in the world highest mountain Mt Everest. This was on the occasion of marking its 20th years of operation in china: the telecom giant is having the highest subscribers worldwide. In this task, Huawei assisted as the technical collaboration.

With this good news, we were tickled by one doubt!!

Will the Nepalese climbers and trekkers would benefit from this service?

With digging the answers about this question, we find out a lot details that most of us have never think and just had been happy that 5G was on the top. Before disclosing this doubt, lets know the background technical details about this achievement.

Technical Details:

China Mobile and Huawei have installed altogether 3 5G and 3 4G base stations (BTS) at the height of 5,300m and 5,800m. After this, it has been the highest place in the world having 5G network coverage. With continuing their project, they also have added 2 5G base stations at 6,500m which will serve almost all the periphery of base camp.

According to Chinese state media Global Times, to do work at such height, China Mobile have mobilized around 150 technicians and engineers. There were 8-tons of network construction and life support equipment carried to the mountain by the Yaks and Porters. The connection to the base camp was done by connecting to main network which was 177Km long. Here, the main network is used to examine, diagnosis and repair if necessary remotely. To accomplished this task, 25 Km long optical fiber was laid with taking care of the natural environment.

In base camp, there is a team of 12 people providing 24/7 support. The antenna used was of Huawei: highly concentrated, small, lightweight and robust which significantly reduces the difficulty of installing them in such extensive height and abrasive climate. The tested upload and download speeds were 700 Mbps and 223 Mbps, respectively.

In late October 2010, the first 3G connection from Base Camp was established. In 2013, China Mobile have ticked their 4G in Mt Everest. And now, after 7 years 5G was formally dispensed.

To take benefit of 5G connectivity, Chinese operators have installed 4K webcam and 360 VR cameras that would live stream the panoramic and areal view of Everest for 24/7 from 5,300m altitude.

Now, let’s clear the doubt about its service in Nepalese climbers

According to Guardian, in 2017, 648 people reached the summit of Everest, including 202 from the Tibetan side(china side). And about 60,000 climbers, guides, and tourists visit the region of Everest between Nepal and Tibet. But majority of the people do step from Nepal side(Southern side). The reason is Nepal side have high steep but can return quick to base camp which is the advantage.

In Tibet, the Mt Everest is called Chomolungma. So the Chinese telecom giant have installed the 5G BTS in their region only. In Picture below, the new 5G will work for the users of their nationals and in their side only as represented by ” China Face”.

5g in mt everest by china mobile and huawei but not in nepali side of Mt Everest
Fig: Mt Everest on the border || Source-Google Map

So within that green line, we have our trekkers and climbers topping the Everest from Everest Base Camp. So our trekkers won’t have any benefit from the Chinese 5G. However, we can assume that the signal of other side would reach in our side too but being fade.

Indeed, Chinese firms haven’t stated that whether they would allow only mobile networks as BTS have been setup for mobile networks but Wi-Fi signal can also be distributed with adding devices too.

For Nepalese trekkers and climbers, there isn’t much to be worried as there is already tower installed but not in such high altitude.

Nepali Mobile Network in Mt Everest:

In November 2009, Nepal Telecom was the first to set BTS to provide GSM 2G mobile telephone services. This was based on satellite connectivity. Later in October 2010 Ncell have installed 8 3G base stations along the route to Everest base camp. The highest BTS installed was at Everest Base Camp(EBC) which is 5,200m. Ncell claimed, it would serve the peak of the mountain. Despite of hard topography and adverse climate, Nepal Telecom and Ncell have been providing the services.

Technological benefit for China:

The 5G would allow for better communication and safety(rescue). The Ariel view would help to study the topography and climate changes. It would also help china to track the trekkers and climbers which ultimately solve the pollution they are facing in their region.

Let’s warm up..

China’s 5G in Everest region is on their territory only. Indeed the majority of Mt Everest climbers are from the Nepal side, they will not be benefited. They are getting the networks what Nepal Telecom and Ncell have provided.

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