Mobile phones can go silent across Europe this winter due to power outages, implementation of consumption limits and current policies causing some mobile networks to be disrupted. The probability of power shortages has increased due to Russia’s move to cut off gas supplies through Europe’s main supply route following the crisis in Ukraine. The situation deepens in France when numerous nuclear power facilities are shut down for maintenance.
Officials from the telecoms sector express concern that the severe winter would test Europe’s telecommunications infrastructure, forcing businesses and governments to look for solutions to lessen the effects. Nearly 500,000 telecommunications masts and towers are present in Europe, and most have backup batteries that can keep them operational for about 30 minutes.
Countries in the European Union, such as France, Sweden, and Germany, are working to ensure that communications will function even if power outages eventually deplete the batteries powering the vast number of cell antennas.
The French finance ministry official said, ” It’s difficult to isolate a mobile antenna. Maybe we’ll learn more about it before winter comes”.
According to multiple sources, telecoms in Sweden and Germany have also expressed worries to their governments about potential power shortages. Swedish telecoms regulator PTS collaborates with telecom companies and other organisations to identify solutions, discussing what might transpire if power needed to be distributed part of this.
Italy’s telecoms organisation said it would resolve the issue with the country’s new government and wanted the mobile network to be exempt from any power outages. Cell operators and telecom equipment manufacturers Nokia and Ericsson are collaborating to lessen the outcomes of power shortages.
According to a company spokeswoman, Deutsche Telekom has 33,000 mobile masts in Germany, but only a small number can be powered at once by its mobile emergency power systems. In the event of protracted power outages, Deutsche Telekom stated it would employ portable emergency power systems primarily powered by diesel fuel.
According to sources, telecom firms use software to minimise traffic, put towers into “sleep mode” when not in use, and turn off certain frequency bands.