Baber set world record for highest cell phone call
[May 22] KATHMANDU, Nepal--"It's cold, it's fantastic, the Himalayas
are everywhere," Rod Baber said in the phone call from the top of
the 8,848-meter (29,198-feet) peak early on Monday morning, according
to a voice recording posted on his weblog."I
can't feel my toes, everyone is in good spirits--we got here in
record time, it is amazing," said Baber.
For the call, Baber used a Moto Z8 phone, a consumer-grade
GSM phone that Motorola announced earlier this week and will ship
in Europe and Asia in June. No plans for shipping the phone in the
U.S. have been made, although Motorola has many GSM phones sold
by U.S.-based carriers. Pricing has not been announced. Photo:
(click here to
He also sent a text message, setting another
high altitude communications record.The text message to Moto read,
"One small text for man, one giant leap for mobilekind - thanks
Motorola." The record-breaking calls were made at an altitude of
8,848 metres, in -30 degree temperatures. The call was made at 5:37
a.m. local time in the Himilayas, which about 1 a.m. London time
and 8 p.m. Sunday EST.
Baber however, could not spend much time
on the phone, as climbers typically stay at the summit for only
about 15 minutes. Making a phone call is also dangerous as talking
into the handset means one has to remove his/her oxygen mask.
To ensure that the cellphone batteries didn't
conk out during the call, they were taped to Baber's body so that
they stayed at a high enough temperature to power the phone.
His achievement was made possible by China
Telecom, which has set up a mobile phone tower at base camp on the
north side of the mountain.
"Everest symbolizes the greatest challenge to
any climber. To reach the summit and achieve world records with
Motorola is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Baber from Everest
Base Camp before reaching the summit, according to a statement.
Z8 has totally enhanced the experience up here, giving me the
added confidence and peace of mind to know that friends, family
and even help were just a phone call away."
"It's good news because communications are
essential in the mountains where climbers face huge risks," said
Ang Tsering Sherpa, the president of Nepal's Mountaineering Association.
"The mobile coverage could help in rescue operations," he said.
"Motorola is committed to pushing the limits of
technology and innovation, and we have a strong heritage of world
first achievements," said Allen Burnes, corporate vice president,
Motorola Mobile Devices, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India,
in a statement. "We famously provided the technology that communicated
the first words from the moon, and now we're pleased to say we were
the first to provide a mobile call from the top of the world. This
challenge was a true test of man and machine for Rod and MOTO Z8."
The Z8 has worked well in the cold and low pressure
and has been used by Baber to reach his family and others, making
voice calls and sending photos and text messages from various locations.
"He's not calling every day," Harrison said.
Z8, a consumer-grade phone slated to ship in Europe and Asia
in June, was announced last week by Motorola. No plans have been
unveiled yet for offering the device in North America.
It features video playback at speeds up
to 30 frames per second, high-definition video capture and a high-fidelity
music player. With ultrafast high-speed downlink packet access technology,
it includes a 16 million-color, 35- by 50-mm Quarter Video Graphics
Array full-screen display. It is also designed for Global System
for Mobile Communication networks. MOTO
Z8 also features Motorola's first-ever "kick slider," a mechanism
designed to open in a curve to match the contour of the user's face.
While Everest has been climbed for decades, it
is the first time a cell phone call will be made because there had
previously been of a lack of cell infrastructure, Baber said in
an e-mail interview in April with Computerworld.
Previous voice calls by climbers have been
made using heavy, large satellite phones, he said. China Telecom
only set up a cell tower in Rongbuk, about a mile from the base
camp last year, Baber said.
A line-of-site connection from Rongbuk is now possible
with the north ridge of the mountain, a distance of about 12 miles,
Baber said in the e-mail.
The call is one of several high ltitude
stunts being carried out in the current Everest climbing season.
Last week a Briton pulled off the season's first big stunt by making
the first flight over the summit using a powered paraglider. A Nepali
mountaineer has also broken his own world record by scaling the
peak for a breathtaking seventeenth time.
. Other daredevils on the mountain include Wim
"Iceman" Hof, a Dutchman attempting to scale the peak wearing just
shorts, boots, gloves and a cap. This year, around 550 people are
attempting Everest from both Nepal and via the northern flank in
Note: World Record Academy will consider this
world record as: world record for highest cell phone call landbased
, simply because these days it happens to many to make phone
calls from a commercial aircraft, too-which may be well above Everest's
Quote of the Day: "There are phone call from strange
place, but quite literally no one can top this. "-By Christopher
Nickson Staff Writer, Digital
About Rod Baber
At 29, Rod Baber gained the world record for
climbing the highest point of every European country. The record
was completed in 835 days from the first summit of Hvanndalshnukar
in Iceland to Mt Ararat in Turkey (47 sovereign states in total).
This record knocked more than four and a half years from the previous
record. He also holds the world record for climbing more of the
world's highest points than any other person. This includes the
summit of Mt Aconcagua in Argentina at the age of 24. His passion
for travel has carried him through more than 60 countries around
the world, including four major trips to the Himalayas.
Rod Baber, Managing Director of Head
4 Heights runs public speaking events based on his world
record in climbing the highest points of every European country.
Previous topics have included The Importance of Communication, Power
of Experiential Learning, The Advantages of Technology and Positive
All speeches relate to running a successful
mountaineering world record breaking expedition. Additionally he
is a speaker on the Wilderness Lectures circuit www.wildernesslectures.com,
which also includes Emma Richards, Nick Middleton, Rebecca Stevens
MBE and Richard Meredith–Hardy.