Yamal Satellite Enables High Speed Internet on Top of the World

2 November 2010

Russian satellite operator Gazprom Space Systems has supported TeliaSonera and its subsidiary in Nepal, Ncell, in the successful launch of high-speed 3G mobile Internet services in the Mount Everest area. TeliaSonera and Ncell have relied on the Russian provider’s Yamal-202 satellite for organizing the backbone channel connecting high altitude base stations with other network nodes of the Nepali mobile operator.

Gazprom Space Systems began cooperating with Ncell from the start of Ncell’s operations in 2006. Given the severe weather and geographical conditions of Nepal, satellite technologies are an optimum choice for backbone networks to provide mobile communication services in the country. Yamal-202 satellite has the suitable semi-global coverage and the necessary high technical performance to enable effective VSAT networks in the country.

Now the world’s highest-altitude satellite-enabled mobile communication station supporting operation of Ncell’s 3G mobile network has begun working via Yamal-202 satellite. The station is located at an altitude of 5,200 meters in Gorakshep place (Khumbu valley). This place is a frozen lake, covered by layer of sand, located not far from the Mount Everest. It is the last acclimatization point for the majority of climbers before their mounting to the top of the world.

The installation of the satellite-enabled station, taken place in the extreme conditions of the highland, in the absence of any transport besides bearers, with the acute shortage of oxygen, when people have to permanently intake respective medicines and use oxygen containers, is in itself a kind of conquest of the conditions, that Ncell has accomplished with the support of its vendors and partners.

The implementation of the state-of-the-art wireless technologies (including satellite technologies) will bring faster and more affordable telecommunication services to the people living in Khumbu valley, trekkers, and climbers alike.

Gazprom Space Systems plan to further support the development of the modern telecommunication services in Nepal, as well as in other countries around the world. Three new satellites, Yamal-300К, Yamal-401 and Yamal-402, currently under construction and scheduled for launch in 2011-2013, will increase the company’s satellite capacity by 4 times.

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