Eskom could cripple 5G in South Africa
Regular load-shedding could have an even bigger impact on mobile network connectivity with the rollout of 5G in South Africa. Eskom’s load-shedding has often left mobile network users frustrated as they were left with slower or no connectivity.
This is because the mobile towers which provide reception are run on the utility’s grid. While mobile operators’ have installed batteries to provide backup power, these may also encounter problems with multiple bouts of load-shedding over short periods.
If the gaps between load-shedding slots are too small, the batteries are unable to charge back to full capacity, which means they will run out of power more quickly during the next outage. With the rollout of 5G in South Africa, this issue could become even more pervasive.
More than double the electricity usage
MTN Consulting Chief Analyst Matt Walker previously published a report titled “Operators facing power cost crunch” that showed a 5G base station consumes up to twice or more the electricity of a 4G station. Energy consumption is expected to be even greater with higher-frequency 5G, as a larger number of antennas with a denser concentration are required.
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