Huawei, China Mobile empowers 5G on Mount Qomolangma

By Shen Weiduo and Fan Lingzhi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/29 19:48:40

Huawei proves technological strength

Huawei and China Mobile's 5G base station at Mount Qomolangma's base camp at 5,300 meters high Photo: Courtesy of Huawei

Chinese tech giant Huawei, working with China Mobile, the world's largest telecom operator, has once again proved its technological strength by helping build 5G stations on Mount Qomolangma, commonly known in the West as Mount Everest, the world's highest peak.

The two have jointly built two 5G stations at the 6,500-meter advance camp. The stations are expected to cover the summit of Qomolangma. The two installations will be the world's highest terrestrial 5G base stations. 

"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, Huawei project manager who has been on site for 20 months, said Wednesday.

Forty 40 people aided by 40 yaks participated in the "almost impossible task" of hauling eight tons of equipment up the mountain, Wang said. 

On April 19, Huawei and China Mobile already put into operation three 5G stations on the mountain, two at Mount Qomolangma's base camp at 5,300 meters high, and one at a transition camp at an altitude of 5,800 meters. 

The tested upload and download speeds on the 5,300-meter-high station were 215 Mbps (megabytes per second) and 1.66 Gbps. The tested upload and download speeds on the 5,800-meter-high station were 180 Mbps and 1.5 Gbps, according to Huawei.

Insiders close to the project told the Global Times on Wednesday 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 5G stations will help mountaineers from across the world communicate better. It could also prove to be helpful for rescuing workers and researchers. 

Having overcome difficulties such as communication data backhaul, power supply, extreme cold temperatures and extreme winds, Huawei's success in building such a station is the best manifestation of the Chinese tech giant's comprehensive strength in microwave transmission and 5G equipment, energy solutions, material technology and base station construction.

If Huawei can help build a 5G base station on Mount Qomolangma, it can help bring 5G to any corner of the world, industry analysts said.

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, the firm said. Huawei will keep its operations team on site until the end of May.

"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 told the Global Times.

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. 

China Telecom announced on April 13 that it has built 5G base stations at Qomolangma's base camp, at an altitude of 5,145.3 meters. China Unicom announced in recent days that it has built two 5G base stations on Mount Qomolangma, which will provide full 5G coverage for the mountain's observation deck and No.1 base camp.

"Huawei is just one part of the effort to make the impossible possible. We are proud to have been a part of it," Wang said.
Newspaper headline: 5G stations on Qomolangma

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