Batteries are a trendy topic in today’s energy debates. Big players such as renewable energy producers or car manufacturers have for instance loudly expressed their interest for that technology.

One industry that stayed under the radar though is telecommunications. 

Yet no power is deadly for telecom companies. During power outages, if not properly backuped they simply cannot operate. They need assurance that their network is always available for their consumers. 

Is having backup power really worth anything ? Here are the five reasons why telecom companies need power backup systems. 

1. Emergency first

Cellular sites play first and foremost a pivotal role for our modern societies: they keep people together, especially during dramatic times. 

In critical situations, no one can afford rescue operations or ambulances to be delayed… because of a sudden lack of power. In case of a major shutdown, having data service might very well be one of the only obstacle to complete chaos. In fact, restoring communications services is a very sensitive mission, as illustrated by Hurricane Maria’s aftermath in Puerto Rico in 2017, when a wave a panic occurred while the small territory was plunged into the dark. 

A puerto rican woman is desperately looking after mobile service during Hurrican Maria’s aftermath. Photo credits: Hector Retamal / AFP 

There is a strong societal need for Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) equipment for telecom companies. Next time you hear 911 sirens, you might realize there is a chance that a power backup system is behind that.  

2. Show must go on

Besides emergency calls, regular data usage also means a whole lot to companies. Without data services, the business world stops. Payments can’t be process, inventory can’t be updated, product development can’t be performed and software can’t get accessed. The modern economy relies on telecom companies.

We indeed live in a connected world, and that statement is set to become even more acute in the coming years. We expect 50 billion connected devices as soon as 2020 and the Internet of Things is already looming at the horizon.

In such a context, even one minute of downtime can prove costly for telecom companies’ businesses, a loss rate reaching sometimes over 300k$/hour. 

Of course trying to minimize outage risk is important, but we all know zero-risk does not exist and when a couple of batteries can save you from a financial nightmare, it is worth looking into it. 

3. Good ol’ Grid

In the digital era that we are living in, bad news is that power infrastructures are aging at the same pace than the demand for connected devices grows. Super fast. 

American scholar Gretchen Bakke recently published a book highlighting how fragile and problematic the north-american grid has become.

Most of the existing infrastructure in North America date back to the fifties or sixties. As the years went by, the grid has become more and more unpredictable. North America experiences nowadays more than 300 major power outages per year, which is roughly six times higher than at the beginning of this century. That context alone is enough to create strong incentives to invest in high-end power backup system.

Backup power solutions alleviate the grid, and that fact is unlikely to go unnoticed. 

4. Weather alert

Increased risks of power outages are also the consequences of Climate Change and the frequent extreme weather events associated with it.

 In 2005, Hurricane Katrina storming in prompted a proposal from the U.S. Communications Commission to make power backup system mandatory at telecom sites. After 2017 and Hurricane Irma, the state of Florida decided to enhance its backup power requirements. 

Natural events pose a serious threat to electrical network stability and they seem to multiply these days, forcing telecom companies to take preemptive measures. 

Many public and private actors have already hushered to the “battery umbrella” to stay clear of climatic damages. 

5. Don’t worry be happy

Finally it’s hard to emphasize enough the most underrated upside of a power backup system: peace of mind for telecom companies.

Backup power helps to stay cool even when things are heating up !

Knowing that cellular sites can overcome any unforeseen event is a luxury made available by the sound decision of not putting all the eggs in the same precarious basket – the grid. 

Instead, investing on a backup system allows telecom companies to sit back, relax and think further than immediate concerns. 

Future is clearly pointing toward the necessity for implementing even more power backup systems. With 5G networks and our ever growing dependance on our connected devices, such solutions start to become increasingly valuable for telecom companies. Planning the deployment of telecom equipment or just looking for answers to your questions ? Do not hesitate to book a free consultation with our team of experts.