Chinese Install 5G and Live Webcam Coverage on Everest

8000ers COVID-19 Everest
Mount Everest, as seen from Chinese Base Camp on the new webcam.

The 26-strong Chinese team currently on Everest, the only one granted a permit this season amidst the COVID-19 confinement, has the opportunity to face the mountain in all its magnificent wildness, with only the wind as company, as no one has done in decades during the pre-monsoon season. It is a fitting way to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first Chinese ascent of the mountain’s north side.

However, the team’s presence also coincides with a less romantic, more technological presence: In a joint venture, China Mobile and Huawei have managed to install three 5G antennas at Base Camp (5,300m) and at 5,800m on April 19. Yaks and porters carried more than eight tonnes of equipment, and “dozens” of technicians from the telecom giants fixed the antennas in place.

At work on Everest. Photo: China Telecom

China Mobile claims that the whole peak will enjoy 5G coverage, beginning this Saturday, when two more 5G stations — the world’s highest — go up at a 6,500m.

Although there is no news about the climbing team’s progress on the mountain, no one is likely to reach the summit for several days yet.

Currently, webcams are streaming 4K HD live from 5,300m. One webcam points at the camp, the other at the peak. Other 360-degree VR cameras were installed nearby.  “We want to give the Chinese people who are staying at home due to coronavirus a chance to enjoy panoramic views of the mountain’s beauty through cutting-edge technology,” said Liao Hongfeng of China Telecom. Here in the West, we can view the webcam footage from China Daily’s Facebook page — somewhat ironically, since Facebook is blocked in China.

The entire operation is bittersweet. It improves communication and allows better safety and easier logistics, but at the expense of some of the aura of “unreachable, furthermost” Everest. Somehow, the summit now looks less tall.

Within days, an invisible 5G network will blanket the north side of Everest. Photo: China Telecom

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Sport journalist, published author and communication consultant. Feeling back home at ExplorersWeb after five years exploring distant professional ranges. From Dec19 to Feb20, I'll be also working as press manager for Alex Txikon's expeditions to Antarctica, winter Ama Dablam and winter Everest.

Leave a Reply

6 Comments on "Chinese Install 5G and Live Webcam Coverage on Everest"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Trekking Trail Nepal
Guest

Telecommunication Tower at the height of 6,500 meters above sea level is an amazing achievement of technology. This effort of the Chinese government will definitely help for Mt. Everest Expedition for the coming years. I want to read about the reliability of the services. From the Nepal side, there is a telecommunication tower close to Everest Base Camp at Gorekshep 5,130 meter sea level but it doesn’t work as it meant to be. However, there is wireless internet connectivity throughout the Trekking Trail towards Everest Base Camp from the Nepal side.

Rebecca
Guest

Is nowhere sacrosanct?! Whilst there may be benefits, if this rollout continues unchecked, soon there will be no place left on earth unviolated by electrosmog and no mystery and natural wonder left untainted. These antennae are not innocuous, they are not the modern day equivalent of erecting a flag to mark an achievement. The frequencies they emit are harmful to all life forms, as documented in peer-reviewed and military research over decades.

Anthony
Guest

Your dumb….

Ande Rychter
Guest

Rebecca, bone up on micrewave radiation before you embarrass yourself again.

Brian Swartz
Guest

It’s only temporary installed for geoinformational purposes.

Kam
Guest

China ruins everything it touches. Just visit the country. Wht’s next- a helicopter pad at BC 4?