Mobile networks could fail during US-style power cuts

UK businesses could be vulnerable to failures of the mobile phone network during power failures like those that affected the US...

UK businesses could be vulnerable to failures of the mobile phone network during power failures like those that affected the US and Canada recently.

Businesses that rely on cell-based mobile networks to communicate with field workers could find themselves cut off in as little as two hours if power cuts hit mobile cell base stations.

In North America last month mobile phone networks began to degrade as base station batteries ran down following cuts that plunged the states on the east coast into darkness.

Ovum analyst Richard Dineen said, "This is a warning to look through provisions for disaster recovery in your mobile phone contracts.

"The mobile phone is being increasingly seen as a primary communications device. But it is not a first line service - it is not guaranteed under regulations to provide that same levels of service as the fixed network. People have become reliant on mobile telephony but it has limitations."

RAC IT director Trevor Didcock said his company was protected to some extent as it has the use of two separate mobile networks, though these are both cell-based and therefore vulnerable.

"There would be two impacts of such an outage on us. Customers would be less able to contact us. People rely on their mobiles and there's not a lot we can do about that."

l As Computer Weekly went to press power outages inLondon affected several million people. While cell back-up was not stretched by the 35-minute power cut, many people reported mobile networks being inaccessible due to overloading.

Don't rely on mobile networks >>

Read more on IT strategy

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close