Telecom Readies for Load Shedding

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By Staff Reporter

WINDHOEK

All telecommunications infrastructure across the country is fully backed up with standby generators, said Telecom Namibia, in the event of anticipated load shedding as the electricity crunch is increasingly becoming a dreaded reality.

Minor sites, said the company, have enough battery autonomy to cover three to five hours of power outages. These sites will be closely monitored during outages.

“However, it is not covering the customer premises, and as such, any electricity outage or load shedding exercise is likely to affect telecoms services starting from your cordless phone, answering machine, private branch exchange, ADSL modem, WiMAX modem or any other network terminating unit that requires power,” Telecom warned.

In these instances, it said, a lack of emergency standby power generation within customer premises will be the primary cause of service interruptions.
The company has put in place disaster management protocols.

This will mean that its core network and systems will be comprehensively covered by back-up power supply, which will enable it to function normally.
All fixed telephone services, which rely on Telecom Namibia’s exchange power over copper lines, will work during outages.

However, the wireless digital communications system, WiMAX [Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access], ADLS [Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line], MGW [MultiGain Wireless], DECT [Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications] and IP [Internet Protocol] router services will be affected because these systems or modems use power supplied by local authorities through the REDs.

Switch mobile services should not be affected due to availability of standby power to base station sites, and handsets should be recharged at regular intervals to remain active.

Cordless telephones that depend on alternating current (AC) power will be off during outages.

The network terminating units (NTs) for ISDN services will also be affected, but the basic telephone service on the NT will function.

PABX [Private Automatic Branch Exchange] systems connected to AC power will also be affected by outages if these are not powered from the UPS [Uninterrupted Power Supply] systems of customers.

Big PABX systems would have to source their own back-up power systems, such as a back-up battery with an external UPS, Telecom Namibia advised.

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