MTN said despite significant investments in battery back-up systems and generators, MTN’s mobile sites continued to face significant threats due to ongoing load shedding.
MTN SA’s executive of corporate affairs, Jacqui O’Sullivan, said: “These batteries generally have a capacity of six to 12 hours, depending on the site category, and require 12 to 18 hours to recharge. The constant outages are starting to have a direct impact on the performance of the batteries. If outages continue, the battery’s integrity is compromised because of insufficient time to recharge and due to the excessive drain on the battery.”
Excluding the amount spent on new batteries for new cellphone sites, MTN spent around R300million in 2018 on batteries for existing sites. In addition to the batteries, MTN has added 1800 generators.
A Vodacom spokesperson said: “Vodacom spends significant amounts on back-up power solutions such as diesel generators and batteries to maintain power to our sites. Additional input costs and revenue losses amount to tens of millions of rand.