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Climbing Mount Everest is among the most dangerous pursuits in the world. Dangerously low temperatures, avalanches, cracking ice flows and lack of oxygen at high altitudes are just some of the obstacles faced by climbers. The ability to call in the event of an emergency is crucial.

About the customer

Jamie has been a Police Officer for 16 years and a frontline response officer for 8 years in the City of Portsmouth Police before being trained as a Firearms Officer working on the Armed Response Vehicles (ARV’s). He then left to join the Ministry of Defence Police on the Marine Unit.

The story

Climbing Mount Everest is among the most dangerous pursuits in the world. Dangerously low temperatures, avalanches, cracking ice flows and lack of oxygen at high altitudes are just some of the obstacles faced by climbers. The ability to call in the event of an emergency is crucial.

In April 2019, Jamie began his Everest expedition to support mental health awareness and raise money for mental health charity, Mind. Climbing Everest takes two months, cell phone coverage is unreliable in the remote mountain areas and non-existent when reaching the summit. 

AST were able to supply Jamie Ironmonger a Thuraya X5 Touch and airtime for his expedition. The Thuraya X5 Touch is the world’s first smart Satellite phone and is proven to withstand shock, vibration and extreme temperatures, making it the perfect choice for Everest. Jamie was also able to take advantage of AST’s world class 24/7 Global Customer Support. AST’s fully trained support team are available 365 days a year to support all AST products, services and solutions from equipment to network and airtime issues. 

The Thuraya X5 Touch gave Jamie the opportunity to telephone and WhatsApp his family, access satellite internet to live-blog his ascent and upload pictures each night at the end of a day's climbing as well as the ability to call for help in the event of an emergency.

Unfortunately, Jamie’s Everest expedition didn’t go to plan and he had to make the difficult decision to turn back with only 100 meters to go. At one-point Jamie was stuck in a queue for over four hours, his oxygen cylinder had frozen which caused a failure with the regulator of his oxygen and he lost over half a tank. With the summit in sight, but knowing his oxygen was low, Jamie had to make the heart-breaking decision to turn back.

On his descent of Everest, and having lost his Sherpa, Jamie had nearly run out of oxygen and as he staggered into the camp at 8300 metres, he discovered the tent containing his reserve oxygen and all his kit was gone; ripped away by the storm. Confused by the discovery and lack of oxygen, he collapsed in the snow, took his Thuraya X5 Touch out of his pocket and called his wife.

“I was on my own, with no tent and no oxygen. I didn’t think I was coming back down, so to be able to reach her in that moment was so invaluable to us both” Jamie commented.

Jamie managed to crawl into another tent where he spent the night in the storm before safely climbing down the next day to the camp at 6400 metres, where he contacted his wife again to let her know he was safe.

Watch the full video case study below: