One of the main benefits of using a local service provider is the facilities that they provide at base camp. These include but are not limited to, dining tents, 3 hot meals each day, water taps, a sink to wash clothes, showers, toilets, satellite telephones, Internet access, battery charging, weather forecasts and a communal lounge tent.
When purchasing additional services like Internet access, it is worth checking the prices that all service providers charge rather than simply paying for the service from your support company. For example, in season 2017/2018 one service provider was charging 10 US dollars for 15 minutes internet access. However, a nearby competitor was charging 10 US dollars for 60 minutes.
The staff at base camp are mostly young people, students for example. The camps are generally well run, almost like a military operation. Most staff speak good English. If you need additional nights at base camp expect to pay around $100 per night, which includes three hot meals and drinks.
Most people access the Internet from their own phone or tablet. You purchase access to the service providers network for a fixed length of time. Some service providers have a laptop computer that you can use if, for example, your telephone has no charge.
Some service providers include one free shower as part of your prepaid package. The standard price in 2017/2018 for a shower was 15 dollars.
At base camp you can buy drinks and snacks: wine, beer, coca-cola, chocolate, etc. However some basics like soap, shampoo and razors maybe more difficult to find.
Before booking local service provider services check if they have common areas at base camp for relaxing in, e.g. soft cushions and chairs. You will spend at least 5 days, sometimes longer if the weather is bad, at base camp acclimatising. Having somewhere to socialise with other mountaineers in a comfortable environment is a real benefit.
Dorm tents can be booked if you would like a break from your tent and a night or two on a mattress. However, the beds are often reserved by organised groups. It does of course mean that you will be sharing a small room with 8-10 other sweaty people!