Outdoors Magazine

Himalaya 2011: Everest Cell Network "Spotty"

Posted on the 06 April 2011 by Kungfujedi @Kungfujedi
Himalaya 2011:  Everest Cell Network
Last fall a lot was made about Everest gaining 3G cell phone service, at least in Base Camp. The word was that cell tower was installed in the area, and we were promised all kinds of faster connections for data and voice. It all sounded good in theory, but it seems that in practice it isn't quite living up to how it was billed. In one of his early dispatches on the trek to BC, Dave Hahn noted that the service was sketchy, even down in the Khumbu Valley.
Today, Explorers Web has an interesting post on the subject, fielding some reports from climbers as to what technology they'll be taking with them to BC this year. It seems that many are bringing cell phones and sim cards with the hopes that they can stay more in touch with friends and family back home, but when they begin the climb, it'll be back to good old fashioned, and semi-reliable, sat phones while on the mountain.
Reports from some of the Sherpas and trekkers who are already up to Gorak Shep, the last teahouse before Base Camp, and the site of the cell tower, say that the service was down for more than 24-hours yesterday. One climber, Seth Wolpin, brought his iPhone along, which has been having all kinds of issues. He was told that the iPhone was "too complicated" for the Ncell operated tower to handle, but as Seth noted, even the regular cell phones have been having issues. That's a bit disheartening considering that there are few people in the area at the moment, so traffic on the network should be light. How bad will performance be once Base Camp gets busy, and a number of teams have downtime between their acclimatization treks.
It should also be noted that the tower is powered by a series of solar cells, and with the days being clear and sunny of late, it should have had plenty of power to keep the cell service up and running, so it seems as if there is something else to blame for the outages.
Obviously the cell towers that were constructed in the Khumbu were put there to help facilitate communications and make things safer in general, but so far it doesn't seem to be all that reliable at all. I remember when I was there last year, normal cell phones seemed to work up until about Dengboche or so, and then it was really hit or miss as to whether or not you could place a call. Our guides knew the best places however, as they would pull out their phones at just the right time to call their girlfriends back in Kathmandu. It was especially funny on the descent, as they knew when their service would return. Seems like they'll have to rely on those older, yet dependable, towers again this year.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen