TeliaSonera and Ncell bring 3G services to Mount Everest

TeliaSonera has announced that its subsidiary in Nepal, Ncell, has successfully launched 3G services in the Mount Everest area. By the end of 2011 Ncell will provide mobile coverage to over 90 percent of the people in Nepal. Located at an altitude of 5,200 meter the highest 3G base station enables locals, climbers and trekkers to surf the web, send video clips and e-mails, as well as to call friends and family back home – all at far cheaper rates than the average satellite phone. Everest base camp just came a little closer.

Through the expanding 3G network, Ncell will also provide affordable services to the entire population of Nepal. Mobile penetration is still low, but rapidly rising. This trend is being driven largely by investments TeliaSonera and others are making in modern telecom infrastructure. When TeliaSonera entered Nepal in 2008, mobile penetration was around 15 percent, and by the end of the third quarter this year it was already over 30% percent. Ncell already boasts 3.7 million subscribers and the advent of the 3G network is expected to boost this subscriber base.

At a press conference held in Kathmandu, Lars Nyberg, President and CEO, Tero Kivisaari, President of Business Area Eurasia and Pasi Koistinen, CEO of Ncell, also unveiled plans for future TeliaSonera investments in Nepal. TeliaSonera has decided to increase the pace of investment for 2011 and spend over 100 M USD. This will ensure mobile coverage to over 90% of the population with affordable telecom services that contribute to the economic and social development of the country, as well as 3G coverage in all major cities and other densely populated areas.
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