I’ve recently approached our Expedition Leader Phil asking for advices on how to get connected via the 3G cellular networks in China, since we are climbing North Side. The answers were pretty much straight forward: 3G is too difficult and expensive, while satellite comms are not possible due to the Mighty E projecting an electromagnetic shadow in Base Camp (5200m). There is however the possibility to get Inmarsat BGANs connected from Advance Base Camp (6400m) but power sources will be limited to a set of portable solar panels and therefore Internet usage will be restricted to pull out weather forecast data and sending the official dispatches.
Besides being an adventurer and crazy Spaniard, I’m an IT Geek, and when someone says “it’s not possible” I feel like taking the challenge and proving they’re wrong.
I don’t know much about the experiences from guys like me going on North Face of Everest with BGAN modems or simpler devices, but I don’t think is such a challenge as explained by our Expedition leader today. He is probably the most experienced Everest climber and guide in the Tibet side these days, but I’m also very experienced on finding Solutions to IT challenges anywhere in this world. Now I feel like not only climbing that mountain but also proving there is no “Impossible” when it comes to IT. It’s just a matter of finding the right formula.
For the last 15 years I’ve been working in the IT arena doing all sort of things, from fixing old CRT computer monitors, to setting up an IP videoconferencing network all around Spain allowing deaf people to communicate from the distance using their natural sign language. Today I’m employed by a large Blue Chip company in Dubai and I work with Telcos all around the world supporting Hosting Solutions to satisfy their customer’s needs. My aim is to work with these Telcos building Messaging and Collaboration Solutions that enable businesses and individuals being connected and productive no matter where they go. As Solution Support Engineer, finding solutions is all about me, not only at work but in all aspects of my life.
This year I’m taking to my Expedition a couple of devices with the brand new Windows 8 operating system (Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone, no laptops of complex toys), and I’m determined to find solutions and get them connected to the Internet, at least to send my own expedition dispatches and updates on the social media, but primarily to satisfy my IT Geek needs and finding the right formula to stay connected up there.
As Altitude Junkie I like to spend my time in the clouds, not only climbing but also flying with a light paraglider and help from the wind. I’m just a newbie but there are so many good pilots out there… and recently I’ve had the opportunity to meet Geoff Davison, Product Manager for Thuraya Telecommunications Company.
Thuraya is a world-leading mobile satellite service provider of voice, data, maritime, rural telephony, fleet management and other telecommunication solutions in remote areas. They provide mobile satellite communications to over 140 countries around the world, offering a congestion-free network that covers most of the planet, encompassing Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Europe. Thuraya not only delivers a set of incredible products and services, but also they have the know-how and experience required to help me finding that formula and getting these devices connected from Base Camp, proving there is no “Impossible” when it comes to IT. Geoff is committed to help me becoming a good pilot and finding Solutions to stay connected from the Mighty E.
From today I will start describing the process to break communication barriers during complex expedition in extreme natural environments such as the one we’ll find on our journey up to the Top of the World from April 2013.
These are for now the constants in the equation:
· Satellite network coverage and line of sight from Everest Basecamp at Tibet side (5200m)
· Optimizing bandwidth consumption with Windows 8
· Optimizing battery consumption on Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone
· Using portable solar power solutions with tablets and phones
· Mobile device reliability under extreme weather conditions
Would you IT Geeks be interested on investigating solutions and coming up with a case study starting from today and finishing on the summit of Mt Everest? Subscribe to my blog to receive updates and use the contact form to send me all suggestions and ideas.
“ I’m climbing Mt Everest (8848m) from Tibet Side for Cancer Research UK because defeating cancer is yet a higher mountain to climb “