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By 10 December 2019 | Categories: news

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TechSmart News sponsored by the Huawei Global Developer Programme

It’s no secret that load shedding has far reaching effects, on individuals, businesses and key infrastructure alike, especially when it reaches into Stage 4 or Stage 6 levels as has been happening this week.

One of the infrastructures that is affected is that of the mobile networks. Vodacom explained that when load shedding occurs, a cellphone tower remains fully functional for as long as the batteries last or the back-up generator keeps running. Once power is fully depleted, the tower stops working entirely. Depending on the configuration of nearby towers, this may cause a coverage area to black out entirely or for customers to experience intermittent service.

While generators run on diesel, and continue to run while being refuelled, batteries, on the other hand, will last anywhere from four to eight hours before they will need electricity to recharge.

With regards to the latter, the major complication with Stage 4 load shedding over consecutive days is that batteries don’t get enough time to recharge to full capacity.

The company reassured that given the probability of load shedding incidents, Vodacom has put a number of proactive measures in place in recent times to mitigate the widespread effects of load shedding. These include the deployment of additional resources, batteries and generators at numerous sites across the country.

That being said, Stage 4 and beyond Stage 6 or even the dreaded Stage 8 still do have impact on the reliability of the network, with what is usually highly reliable in most areas starting to potentially falter at times.

In a statement Vodacom noted that it is aware that “many customers around the country will be experiencing issues connecting to the network because of the Stage 4 load shedding that is currently in place.”

It reiterated that while its towers do use batteries as a back-up these have limited power and will eventually fail. “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience - normal service will resume once load shedding runs its course,” the company has stated.

The bottom line – if you are on a mobile network, and do experience faltering connectivity, hang in there. Hopefully this mess will  be sorted out in due course.  

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