Comic Relief climber aims to raise £1 million using Inmarsat and GTC equipment

A climber aiming to raise £1 million (US$1.6 million) for UK charity Comic Relief by scaling Mount Everest will share every step of his attempt using Inmarsat BGAN.

Comic-Relief-BBC-BGAN-Explorer-700

Inmarsat is sponsoring British commercial airline pilot Daniel Hughes in his bid to take Comic Relief's iconic symbol, the red nose, to the top of the world's highest peak.

He is asking one million people to pledge £1 each to reach his target.

In order to reach such a huge number of supporters, Daniel plans to make his ascent the most connected climb ever.

Inmarsat is providing him with a Cobham SATCOM Explorer 700 BGAN terminal, which he will use to transmit video, post blogs and regularly update social media - all from his HTC smartphone.

GTC have also provided a RedPort WiFi Optimizer to be used by Daniel to enable cost-effective data transfer with the Explorer 700.

The climax of Daniel's challenge is planned to be a live video report streamed direct to the BBC News 24 channel showing him wearing Comic Relief's iconic symbol, the red nose, at the highest point on Earth.

Gruelling journey

"Daniel's zeal and determination are outstanding and we are delighted to be supporting him in his mission to raise £1million for the fight against child poverty," said Drew Brandy, Vice President, Industry, at Inmarsat.

"What intrigued us was Daniel's desire to share the experience of climbing Everest. Through our BGAN service, we will connect him to the outside world, enabling his supporters to follow the gruelling journey and be with him, via live video link, at the summit."

Daniel was inspired to action while on honeymoon with his wife, Carali, in 2010. A trip through South America took the couple to Bolivia, where the levels of child poverty horrified them.

Supporting children

"The image that stayed with me was a young boy I saw at the silver mines in Potosi, one of the highest cities in the world," said Daniel. "He was cowering in a miner's bucket, covered in dirt.

"It struck me that as soon as he was old enough he'd be mining himself, that within 20 years he'd probably be dead of arsenic poisoning or from an accident, for just $8 a day. I just really wanted to do something."

Daniel chose to support Comic Relief because of the work the charity has done for children living in some of the world's poorest nations.

Mountain marathon

He has devoted much of the past two years to preparing for the Everest challenge, including climbing three other mountains - Mont Blanc in France, Aconcagua in Argentina and Denali in Alaska.

He has also competed in a host of high-profile cycling, running and trekking events to raise awareness of his challenge, including the Dare 2b Spine Challenger - a 108-mile, non-stop, winter mountain marathon.

Daniel travelled to Nepal at the end of March and aims to reach the summit by the end of May.

Celebrity support

The climber's determination has won him the support of celebrities including British band Coldplay, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and actor/presenter Stephen Fry, who will tweet the news of Daniel's departure from Everest base camp to his 5.4 million followers.

"I always wanted this challenge to be a two-way process," said Daniel. "I am privileged to be climbing Everest and I want to be able to share the entire experience with everyone who is supporting me."

Daniel will transmit at least one video post a day and update his Facebook and Twitter accounts with photos and sound clips. Followers will be able to take part in question and answer sessions and track his position in 2D and 3D.

Inmarsat sponsors Everest Million:

www.inmarsat.com/corporate/sponsorship/everestmillion/index.htm

Everest Million: www.everestmillion.com

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