Everest cell tower hibernates for the winter
But will wake for the 2008 Olympics
The mobile-phone base station constructed 6,500 metres up Mount Everest has been dismantled until next summer, as not a lot of people want to make calls from the mountain during the winter months.
Carried up the mountain by teams of yaks, and constructed in an environment with only 38 per cent of the oxygen at sea level, the base station only exists to ensure those carrying the Olympic torch before the 2008 games can stay in touch as it's carried to the summit of the mountain.
Two other transmitters, at 5,200 metres and 5,820 metres, provide the remaining coverage so calls (and text messages) can be sent from anywhere on the climber's route.
The torch itself will have to be engineered to burn at such an altitude. Before it gets to the stadium the flame will have travelled 85,000 miles over 130 days.
All this is designed to convince the world that China is an important country that can achieve great things. Sending poor chaps to the top of Everest with a lit match seems an extreme way of convincing us of something we already know, but at least they'll be able to phone home when they get there. ®
This is one of the dafter ideas I've heard...
Everest, believe it or not, still kills people. There's a corpse *sitting* on the final slope of a guy who sat down and couldn't get up again. From what I was told he spent almost four hours on the phone with his wife pleading for him to get up. I think he's still holding it.
Of course that was before the phone masts. Those satellite phones get pretty good coverage. Now it'll be "Yeah, I'm on Everest! EVEREST! THE MOUNTAIN! No, it's crap!"
Why something so simple as a tower?
since China's had such a big hard-on for showing off the result it's massively increased military expenditures, why don't they do some sort of UAV based system or aerostat, or some other bit of techno-killbot boffinry? (ack, channeled Mr. page for a moment there)
Or has their program for 'accidentally" poisoning the children of other nations taken higher priority than their Olympic prestige?
ring ring ...
I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!!!!
*beep beep: Low Battery*
I made it! I'm in. ... *power off*
Hell if you'll ever be able to find a charger up there!