For commercial airline pilot Daniel Hughes, the culmination of two years’ training and fundraising was a live broadcast live from the top of Everest, wearing the iconic red nose of UK charity Comic Relief.
Daniel set out to climb the world’s highest peak after seeing for himself the appalling impact of children forced to live in poverty. He chose to support Comic Relief because of the work it does around the world for child poverty.
The 31-year-old was inspired to act following a trip to South America, when he witnessed shocking levels of child poverty in Bolivia. But his original plan to return to Argentina to climb Mount Aconcagua – the highest mountain in the Western hemisphere – soon snowballed into something much bigger.
Daniel realised he could make a greater impact by setting his sights on the ultimate peak, Mount Everest – and become the first person to take a Comic Relief red nose to the highest point on Earth.
And rather than expecting people to dig deep in their pockets, he decided to ask supporters to give just £1 – and set himself the further challenge of finding one million of them.
Inmarsat provided Daniel with a Cobham Satcom Explorer 700 terminal, which gave him simultaneous voice and data high-speed broadband connectivity via our award-winning BGAN network – even from the top of the world.
The size of a laptop computer, the BGAN terminal is designed to withstand severe environmental conditions like Daniel faced on the mountain. It can be set up within minutes, and enabled him to transmit high-quality video, post blogs and regularly update social media – all from his HTC smartphone.
The climax of Daniel’s challenge was a live video report streamed direct to the BBC from the summit. The broadcast was powered by BGAN X-Stream, Inmarsat’s premium Streaming IP service, offering the fastest, on-demand streaming data rates in the world of mobile satellite communications.
“This is a very special day indeed – it’s the first ever live video call from the roof of the world,” Daniel told the BBC.
“I don’t have a cameraman with me. It’s just me, an HTC smartphone and an Inmarsat BGAN terminal. It’s a very proud moment to be here – it’s been two and a half years in the making.”
Daniel panned round his smartphone so viewers could share the 360-degree view from the summit as he conquered Everest in his attempt to raise £1 million (US$1.6 million) for Comic Relief.