Nepal Telecom to start mobile phone service in Mount Everest region

Nepal Telecom to start mobile phone service in Mount Everest region Kathmandu - Nepal's largest mobile phone service provider Nepal Telecom Saturday announced plans to start services in the Mount Everest region enabling climbers to make phone calls from the top of the world's highest peak. The plans to install mobile phone service in the Everest region are to connect the last few isolated areas in Nepal with the rest of the country and the world.

"We plan to expand our service in Khumbu trekking area and to the top of the world by July," said Bishwonath Goyal, director Nepal Telecom's of Mobile Service Directorate. "This will also help climbers attempting to reach the summit of Mount Everest to disseminate information about their success faster."

The Khumbu region is a popular trekking destination for tourists on their way to Everest region, which until now has very limited communication facilities.

"We plan to install a V-SAT station at Goraksep near Everest base camp which will be linked to Kathmandu," Nepal Telecom spokesman Surendra Prasad Thike said. "This will allow people to make calls from the summit of 8,848-metre-high Mount Everest."

"We are starting this service for the benefit of tourists and climbers," Thike said.

Until now climbers have had to rely on expensive satellite phones to connect to the rest of the world from Everest base camp.

It is hoped the facility will also help local people as well as in emergency rescue situations.

Earlier this week, an internet café opened for service at Gorakse of Khumjung at an altitude of 5,180 metres above sea level. The area is close to Everest base camp. (dpa)

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