Vodacom, MTN stockpiling fuel to guard against blackouts

Eskom’s power blackouts have forced South Africa’s mobile operators to stockpile fuel and secure emergency supplies to keep their networks running. This is according to a report by Bloomberg.

According to the report, MTN has strengthened its deals with suppliers to run its generators when the power goes out.

Vodacom has increased its diesel reserves, is upgrading its generators, and installing additional diesel storage capacity at critical core network sites.

Cell C has agreements with Neotel and Teraco to mitigate the impact of power cuts.

Prepared for Eskom blackouts

South Africa’s mobile operators have been effective in preventing network outages during load shedding. Prolonged outages, though, can be a challenge.

MTN said its network is optimised for load shedding, but prolonged power outages would have an impact on customers.

MTN’s network is designed to be self-sufficient in the event of power outages, and the operator has prepared its network for prolonged power outages by installing more batteries and generators at critical sites.

Vodacom said it has been liaising with Eskom and has plans in place to best manage the various stages of load shedding.

“Almost all of our 10,000+ base stations have some form of battery backup which is typically good for 2-4 hours’ run time,” said Vodacom’s Richard Boorman.

Cell C said it has a comprehensive business continuity plan in place and its core and individual sites are well protected.

“The company’s network will be sustained during stage 3 load shedding,” the operator said.

Cell C added it has agreements in place with the likes of Neotel and Teraco, both of which can operate fully off-grid.

“These two operations act as redundancy for each other,” said Cell C.

More on power blackouts

Total power blackout – what happens to telecoms services?

SA power blackout doomsday plans

SA on brink of total blackout: Eskom CEO

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Vodacom, MTN stockpiling fuel to guard against blackouts