Chinese telecom giant Huawei and state-owned China Mobile are building two 5G stations to cover the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday.
“The two installations will be the world’s highest terrestrial 5G base stations,” the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) newspaper Global Times said on April 29.
“The 6,500-meter-high point will likely be the highest place where Huawei is able to build a 5G station, but whether the signal can extend as high as the summit at 8,848 meters still needs to be tested. We are striving to make that happen,” Wang Bo, a Huawei project manager who has been on site at Everest for 20 months, told the paper in April.
In the article, the CCP described the project as a priceless opportunity to promote China and Huawei.
“Insiders close to the project told the Global Times … that the cost of building five 5G stations in the extremely difficult terrain could reach 10 million yuan ($1.42 million), noting that the project is worth more than its economic value in that it publicizes 5G technology and China’s strength in it,” the propaganda outlet detailed.
“If Huawei can help build a 5G base station on Mount Qomolangma [the name for Mount Everest in the Tibetan language], it can help bring 5G to any corner of the world,” industry analysts told the paper. Chinese propaganda outlets use the Tibetan name for the mountain despite the fact that the Communist Party has largely eradicated the Tibetan language from Tibetan schools.
According to the report, “From late March to early April, Huawei said it had ‘concentrated the entire technical strength in the firm’ to design and verify the whole plan.”
“Building these 5G stations has been challenging in every way. This valuable experience, such as in equipment transportation, could be applied to other future projects as well,” Wang added.
“In addition to China Mobile, Huawei is also the equipment provider and technical supporter for two other Chinese telecom operators who also built 5G stations on Mount Qomolangma [Mount Everest],” the report said, adding that “Huawei will keep its operations team on site until the end of May.”
On May 28, a Chinese survey team summited Mount Everest through Tibet to remeasure the precise height of the world’s tallest mountain, a subject of dispute between China and Nepal, the Hindustan Times reports. According to Chinese state media, China calculated the height of Mount Everest to be 8844.43 meters. This is four meters less than Nepal’s official measurement.
A recent border dispute between China and India in India’s Ladakh state — which borders Tibet and is located near Mt. Everest’s Himalayan mountain range — has made headlines in recent weeks.
China and Nepal established their border through a treaty signed in 1961. The boundary line between the countries passes through the summit of Mount Everest.