Huawei, Chinese Carriers Deploy 5G Sites At Mount Everest


By Juan Pedro Tomás

Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies has partnered with compatriot mobile network operators China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom to install advanced 5G infrastructure on Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, according to Chinese press reports.

China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless network operator, said its 5G project on Mount Everest marked “not only another extreme challenge in a human life exclusion zone, but also laid a solid foundation for the later development of 5G smart tourism and 5G communications for scientific research.”

Under this connectivity project, China Mobile installed three 5G base stations earlier this month in two camps at altitudes of 5,300 meters and 5,800 meters, which provide download speeds of about 1 Gbps.

China Mobile plans to complete the installation of two additional base stations before April 25 in another camp at an altitude of 6,500 meters, providing 5G network coverage to the summit of Mount Everest. The international border between China and Nepal is 1,414 kilometers in length and runs across that summit.

These 5G base stations, based on non-standalone and standalone networks, will be the world’s highest installed 5G base stations, according to the reports. The 5G Active Antenna Unit stations are supplied by Huawei.

China Mobile noted that over 150 employees are taking part on the construction and maintenance of the new 5G base stations as well as upgrading existing infrastructure on the surrounding areas. The carrier also said that 25 km of new optical cables have also been laid out to support this 5G connectivity project.

China Mobile has not disclosed the cost of building the 5G base stations, but Chinese press said that installing one 5G base station on Mount Everest could cost 1 million yuan (US$140,000), compared with an average of around 30,000-40,000 yuan in major Chinese cities.

China Telecom installed a 5G station on April 13 at an altitude of 5,145 meters. It partnered with state-run China Central Television to broadcast a 24-hour live-streamed program on April 14 from Mount Everest, which had an audience of more than six million people.

The tested upload and download speeds were 700 Mbps and 223 Mbps, respectively. China Unicom has also announced in recent days that it has installed two 5G base stations on Mount Everest, which will provide full 5G coverage for the mountain’s observation deck and No.1 base camp. –

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