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   Rod 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.
Moto Z8
(click here to enlarge)

    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. "My MOTO 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.

Motorola Z8-front view

(click here to enlarge)

MOTO 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.
    Photo montage by:
    By Charlie Sorrel
  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 China.

   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 altitude.

   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 Trends News

    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 Thinking.
    All speeches relate to running a successful mountaineering world record breaking expedition. Additionally he is a speaker on the Wilderness Lectures circuit, which also includes Emma Richards, Nick Middleton, Rebecca Stevens MBE and Richard Meredith–Hardy.

   Link: audio clip of highest cell phone call

   Link: Rod page on MySpace
   Link:    The Call of the Mountain by Rod Baber

   Link: Head 4 Heights, Rod's business

   Link: MotoZ8

   Sources: media reports, Motorola, China Telecom, Rod's Blog



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