High-speed internet launched on Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbers will now be able to chronicle their ascent of Africa’s highest mountain on social media

Broadband has been introduced on Mount Kilimanjaro by the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation. Getty Images
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High-speed internet services have been installed on Mount Kilimanjaro, allowing climbers to chronicle their ascent of Africa’s highest mountain on social media for the first time.

Broadband was introduced on the mountain by the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation on Tuesday. Nape Moses Nnauye, Tanzania's Minister of Information, Communication and Information Technology, made the announcement, fittingly, with a post on Twitter.

“Today up on Mount Kilimanjaro: I am hoisting high-speed internet communications (broadband) on the roof of Africa,” he wrote.

“Tourists can now communicate worldwide from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. We are going to Uhuru Peak, 5,880 metres above sea level.”

While many will welcome the opportunity to remain connected while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, not to mention the ability to share their experiences on social media, there are also those who will have revelled in the opportunity to totally disconnect from the rest of the world while making their ascent.

Located in northern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is more than 5,900 metres high. The volcanic massif stands in isolation amid surrounding plains, and has a distinctive snowy peak.

It was awarded Unesco World Heritage status in 1987 and about 50,000 tourists attempted to climb it each year, prior to the pandemic. In 2019, Tanzania began looking into the idea of introducing cable cars on the mountain, in attempt to boost visitor numbers, but nothing has materialised beyond a feasibility study.

Plans are also under way to bring 4G connectivity to the peak of Mount Everest by the end of this year, with Ncell, a private sector telecommunication company in Nepal, building the world's highest mobile phone tower at an altitude of 5,200 metres on the mountain.

The company is erecting base transceiver stations in at least five locations in the Everest region, ranging in elevation from 3,830 metres to 5,204 metres above sea level. While there is already internet connectivity at Everest Base Camp, climbers have traditionally had to carry satellite phones during their ascent of the world’s highest mountain, in order to stay connected or to make calls in the case of an emergency.

Updated: August 19, 2022, 11:18 AM