Cell Phone Service Coming to Mt. Everest

Can you hear me now?. (Photo: Gunther Hagleitner [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

There's a universal gripe, little known to the outside world, among top elite alpine climbers -- the cell reception on the top of Mount Everest is terrible. Texas dentists and New Jersey insurance salesmen who shell out upwards of $100k to get hauled up the world's tallest mountain by professional guides expect a level of cell phone service that just hasn't been getting met.

Do you know how embarrassing it is having to talk to your trophy wife over a satellite phone relayed through a radio in basecamp? Or think of the young climber eager to make a mark for himself in the world of corporate sponsorship -- without a good strong cell phone signal, he can't call up the CEO of Oakley to thank them again for the free goggles.

Nepal Telecom, the largest company of its kind in Nepal, will be providing both GSM and CDMA handsets with cell reception on Mount Everest starting in June. Large satellite antennas will be installed in seven locations around the region at altitudes up to 5,160 meters and will be able to handle thousands of calls at once.

What kind of phone do you bring to Everest? I can't see the iPhone doing well there.

Via [Bag of Nothing]