Lights out, signal down: How load shedding affects cellphone networks

Johan Engelbrecht Vodacom managing executive for operations says when load shedding occurs network providers lose grid power in certain areas.


JOHANNESBURG – Load shedding has been taking its toll on business operations throughout the country. This also includes cell phone signals being affected.

Johan Engelbrecht, Vodacom's managing executive for operations, says that when load shedding occurs, network providers lose grid power in certain areas.

He says the different load shedding periods in different places make maintaining a stable network connection more difficult.

“In Cape Town, they are getting two and a half hours and in Gauteng, for example, the load shedding period is four and a half hours which makes things more difficult.

“And sometimes, depending on the different stages, load shedding can happen multiple times a day per area.”

Engelbrecht said while Vodacom’s network towers normally have batteries or generators to generate backup power during load shedding, this can only last for a few hours due to multiple outages in an area.

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