Operators struggling to maintain network stability amid rolling power cuts

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom’s rolling blackouts have had a severe impact on cellular network service providers.

Mobile operator MTN said despite significant investments in battery back-up systems and generators, its network had been compromised due to the ongoing power cuts.

The mobile network – which operates in many African countries – said the power outages had played into the hands of criminals as they found it easier to access the infrastructure, including cellphone tower batteries under the cover of darkness.

MTN’s Ernest Paul said measures had been put in place to ensure the safety and stability of its network.

“The fact that we’re now experiencing stage 3 and 4 load shedding is quite significant because the batteries at the base stations are not getting enough time to recharge, which is severely impacting a lot of industries and people working from home. We also rely on the community to proactively participate and that any strange behaviour that you see to immediately report that to the authorities.”

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