A new project is currently underway at the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, and it involves Chinese telecom operators and Huawei. Three 5G base stations have already been built at the base camp (5,300m) and intermediate camp (5,800m), with CGTN reporting that two more base camps to offer 5G coverage at the peak of Mount Everest will be deployed before the end of the week.
The installations are being handled by China Mobile, with Huawei’s 5G equipment being used to provide network coverage. According to NDTV, 150 works are involved in the project, along with 8 tonnes of equipment. Meanwhile, 25km of optical fibre cable has been used to provide connectivity for the project.
Due to harsh conditions, bringing materials to installation locations isn’t easy. In order to protect natural resources and the environment, there is no excavation allowed, which makes things more difficult. According to an industry expert, as reported by Global Times:
“We call it ‘mission impossible’ because the challenges are formidable. How can we ensure a stable 5G network? How can we guarantee electricity supply for 5G stations in extreme weather conditions? How can we ensure cables don’t snap at -20 C?”
Meanwhile, China Mobile has explained that the 5G coverage of Mount Everest will allow for “5G smart tourism”, and scientific research will be empowered by latest-gen connectivity. The peak download speed is reported to be at around 1Gbps, which tallies with 5G numbers for real-world tests.
Additionally, live broadcasts from the world’s highest mountain will also be enabled by 5G coverage. SCMP reports that China Telecom and China Central television partnered up to broadcast a 24-hour live stream on the 14th of April, which reached an audience of six million.
So, what do you think? When we talk about 5G-ready regions, Mount Everest really isn’t the first location to spring to mind. But now, it looks like 5G connectivity isn’t just limited to urban areas—and if extreme locations like Mount Everest is covered, it bodes well for a global rollout of 5G connectivity.