British explorer Daniel Hughes set the cherry on top of a remarkable achievement by calling the BBC on top of Mount Everest. The feat was completed using an HTC One, a pole to attach the phone to, and Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network service.
“This is the world’s first live video call–never been done before–from the rooftop of the world,” Hughes spoke through his oxygen mask during the interview. “[…] I don’t have a camera man with me. It’s me with a pole, an HTC smartphone…and of course my red nose. It’s a very proud moment to be here and two-and-a-half years in the making,”
According to the Independent, the interview with BBC occurred early Sunday morning when Hughes reached the summit along with an influx of other climbers. Over the past few days, 146 mountaineers reached the top of the mountain during a window of good weather, including the first women from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the first twins. Struggling to speak at an altitude of 29,000 feet, Hughes talked briefly with BBC and panned the phone around to give a view on top of the world. You can see the interview below:
Not everyone is as excited as Hughes though, Joint Secretary Purnachandra Bhattarai of Nepal’s tourism ministry has called the interview illegal. The reason for the accusation was because Hughes had not sought permission for the call beforehand.
“Even the tourism ministry has to seek permission from the communication ministry to film, broadcast or conduct media related events on Everest,” Bhattarai said.
Authorities are currently investigating the trekking agency hired by Hughes during the climb. The journey the Everest’s summit seem to be filled with controversy this season, including a confrontation between western climbers and Sherpas last month. You can read that story here.