Telecoms may face shut down of mobile network due to energy crisis

Telecom operators will be forced to shut down their mobile network this winter in the wake of power cuts or energy rationing in Europe, Reuters news report said.
Kazakhstan mobile network
Telecoms are already facing an increase in energy costs in the wake of the expansion of their 5G networks. There will be upwards pressure on the utilities / Opex spend ratio with the shift to 5G mobile networks, according to MTN Consulting. A typical 5G base station consumes up to twice or more the power of a 4G base station.

Telco spending on utilities (electricity, fuel, and water) amounted to 5.2 percent of Opex in 2020. 5G adoption is driving costs higher, as several early adopters saw increases in utilities spend.

The Reuters report said Russia decided to halt gas supplies via Europe’s key supply route in the wake of the Ukraine conflict and the development will result into power shortage for all telecoms operators.

Telecoms industry officials say a severe winter will put Europe’s telecoms infrastructure to the test, forcing companies and governments to try to mitigate the impact.

Currently there are not enough back-up systems in European countries to handle power cuts, raising the prospect of mobile phone outages.

Several countries in European Union countries are trying to ensure communications can continue even if power cuts end up exhausting back-up batteries installed on the thousands of cellular antennas spread across their territory.

Europe has nearly half a million telecom towers and most of them have battery backups that last around 30 minutes to run the mobile antennas.

Telecom gear makers Nokia and Ericsson are working with mobile operators to mitigate the impact of a power shortage.

European telecom operators must review their networks to reduce extra power usage and modernize their equipment by using more power efficient radio designs, telecom executives said.

Telecom companies are using software to optimize traffic flow, make towers sleep when not in use and switch off different spectrum bands to save power.