Chinese carrier puts mobile station on Mount Everest

China's largest cell phone service provider successfully tested a transmission station on Mount Everest, making it possible for climbers and those on next year's Olympic torch relay to make calls, a state news agency, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

China Mobile had to hire yaks and porters to help transport equipment up to the station site at 21,325 feet, the Xinhua News Agency said.

The new station, along with two other China Mobile stations at 17,060 feet and 19,095 feet, would provide cell phone service along the entire Mount Everest climbing route, Xinhua said.

It would also be put into use during next year's Olympic torch relay, which will take the flame to the 29,035-foot summit, the Associated Press report said.

The report said a worker called the cell phone of China Mobile general manager Wang Jianzhou and had a clear signal, Xinhua quoted an unnamed company spokesman as saying.

The construction was 'incredibly difficult' because the oxygen level was only 38% of what it would be on the ground, the spokesman said.

Immediately after the call to Wang, workers began packing away the equipment for the winter, Xinhua said. The station will be reassembled before the Olympic torch relay next summer.