Mobile Workforce Professionals Group

This special interest group covers mobile technologies and approaches that are helping utilities do business today. 

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Question

How would the Service Level Agreement with the mobile service provider regarding power backup during brownout or blackout?

Answers

There are many factors to consider when determining the impact of a power outage on a mobile network such as duration of the outage and geographic extent of the problem.  In urban areas mobile coverage is normally provided by overlapping cell site coverage.  A single or small number of sites could lose power and it would be totally transparent to most users.  In addition, many cell sites have failover backup power such as batteries or standby generators which are can cover for short duration commercial power interruptions.  If the outage duration is excessive, then portable generators can be deployed.  This assumes that the geographic extent of the power failure isn’t so large that the number of affected sites exceeds the availability of portable generators.  Normally, such large failures are only associated with major events such as hurricanes, flood or large earthquakes.  Mobile service providers have planned well to ensure that most power related events will have limited impact on their networks and customer service.     

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