Wiring Mount Everest

April 29, 2011: 5:00 AM ET

These days it's hard to find a spot on the globe without mobile-phone coverage. Even the most remote and inaccessible locations, like Mount Everest (as of October 2010), offer access. So as trekkers head to base camp or the spring climbing season, they, too, will be able to text, call home, or check voicemail at will.  --Tara Moore

TeliaSonera 3G cell tower at Gorakshep, the original Everest base camp, October 2010


17,060 feet is the highest altitude of the base stations for 3G (third-generation) mobile. Video calls have been made as high as 17,388 feet.

$2.1 trillion is the total dollar amount of the global telecom market. Total mobile penetration worldwide is 76%; in Nepal, 85% of the population has mobile access.

486 climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest in 2010. Some 32,000 trekkers went to base camp, up from 14,000 in 2002.

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