Vodacom Towers Backup

Dolby

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#1
I'm hoping Jannie will see this and reply ... But anyone else that may know would be great as well.

How long do towers last in loadshedding? My understanding is 2hrs?

Today during loadshedding in Fourways/Lonehill, I see plenty folk complaining that their cellphone signal died too. Got me thinking about redundancy ?

Thanks
 

Ockie

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#2
I have never had issue with Vodacom signal when there is load shedding, neither has my sister. My our phones would die before the power would come back on. When I was on Telkom / Roming MTN soon as load shedding started my signal would drop to almost nothing and data was pratically impossible. I think I would get 1 or two bars of EDGE signal.

As far as I know Vodacom towers are backed up by diesel generators. I doubt it is all of them though as that would be expensive and a logistal nightmare I am sure.
 

Dolby

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#3
Thanks Ockie.

There's a fairly large thing on Facebook now because everyone (there must be around 30 odd people that have contributed) lost signal at the same time, with the power outage. I'm also aware of a backup - but wanted to see if anyone knew how long ? Maybe something specific broke on this tower when the power went out?

I also had pretty much zero signal Sunday in that area
 

R13...

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#4
In my area it looks like we get just over an hour after power failure. The actual backup will probably vary depending on area as in some areas they bring in those mobile generators and power up towers for several hours.
 

Geoff.D

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#5
In terms of the backup standards we used to have, there is no backup today.
Major nodes had 14-hour battery backup plus generators. Minor nodes would have a sliding scale.
It is not only about tower site back up, but it is also about the network feeding those sites. Most infrastructure appears to have no more than 1-hour backup with very few minor nodes equipped with generators. Security and theft is the issue.
So if the network goes down, then why keep the towers running?
It is just a mess.
No fixed line telecoms, all LTE and fibre hence VoIP. No power no comms. An organised crime syndicates dream.
 
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Ockie

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#6
When we get load shed in Parkhurst again I will make a point to keep a eye on my signal etc. But my experience is that Vodacom is much better when it comes to maintaining network when the power goes out in that area compared to Telkom/MTN (granted, this is now 2 or three years ago since I ported back to Vodacom so perhaps they have changed since then)
 

SauRoNZA

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#8
Should last indefinitely.

Well as long as the generators have petrol/diesel that is.

But there is of course a chance for potential failures, like CellC went down on Saturday morning when their aircons failed in the data centre causing their systems to shutdown.
 

Geoff.D

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#9
Well, where I am the VC tower within 15 minutes drops back to H, then after an hour, it is on Edge. so far power has always come back after just over 2 hours. Not a complete loss but close enough to useless on Edge.
 

Dolby

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#11
Thanks Ockie.

With all these issues, I'd be keen on knowing the actual redundancy for interest. In the old days, I always heard a figure of 2hrs (which means in 2018 loadshedding, it'd die half way). But as I say, quite a few people reporting 0- 30 minutes and they can't do much.
 

Geoff.D

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#15
Yes the backbone is also affected depending on how network nodes that are not in the exchange get their power and what capacity there is for battery backup. It seems the GPON in our area has about 1-hour of backup, which means the FTTH goes down. The network backup to remote nodes is about 90 minutes.
So even if you backup your own routers you may be in for a nasty surprise when you get very little benefit out of fancy backup power systems you might have installed.
 
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#16
That's what I discovered too actually.

It displayed 4G but I couldn't do anything
Same here on both Rain and Vodacom (maybe my Vodacom is on the same Rain tower anyways). Shows 4G, but no throughput after about 30min into load shedding. I also battle to make calls during load shedding. The reception does weaken considerably as soon as load shedding hits, so I think my closest tower has no back-up. Then after a while the link goes down on the other closest tower.
 

Geoff.D

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#17
LS affects everything. Alarms systems cant commu icate back to the control centre, VOIP phones fail if you dont have some sort of power backup in your homes, mobile networks back off in capability in an attempt to stay up, etec, etc, etc,

The Eskom crises is the the most serious one of all for all of us.
 
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