Vodacom mobile data centre on wheels

Vodacom has developed and deployed a mobile recovery solution which will provide greater network resilience, in the case of an “unforeseen catastrophic incident”.

The solution is two mobile data centres on wheels, which gives Vodacom the ability to restore functionality to its Mobile Telephone Exchange (MTX) sites within 48 hours.

Vodacom’s country-wide MTX sites are crucial parts of its network, and link the radio access network (base stations) to Vodacom’s core network.

Each site is dependent on transmission infrastructure to route voice and data traffic between subscribers, devices, and systems.

Inside the RAN mobile recovery solution
Inside the RAN mobile recovery solution

“We call this type a ‘hole-in-the-ground’ recovery solution, because it’s used in the very unlikely event that our entire facility’s functionality completely disappears,” said Vodacom Network Engineering Officer Beverly Ngwenya.

The testing of the new solution required Vodacom to simulate the recovery of its Midrand MTX site.

Preparing the fibre
Preparing the fibre

This site provides connectivity to customers in the southern and central parts of Gauteng.

“I’m extremely pleased that everything ran smoothly and we reported no loss of service,” said Vodacom CTO Andries Delport.

To ensure the company is able to meet its 48-hour turnaround time, two solutions were commissioned.

Preparing the RAN mobile recovery solution
Preparing the RAN mobile recovery solution

The first, based in Pretoria, services the northern part of the country; while the second is based in Bloemfontein to ensure quick access to the southern parts of South Africa.

Each recovery solution consists of complete power backup with on-board generators, fire suppression, air conditioning, building management systems, security systems, and network equipment.

Network resiliency is part of the company’s ongoing network investment programme, which has seen it invest over R22.5 billion in the network over the past three years.

Inside the RAN mobile recovery solution
Inside the RAN mobile recovery solution

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Vodacom mobile data centre on wheels