Zimbabwe Mobile Network Operators are reportedly contemplating switching off their networks whenever power is gone. They are said to have argued that the load shedding has resulted in unbearable costs for them.
This comes at a time when local power utility has introduced a crippling load shedding which has seen most of the country going without power between 0400 hours and 2200 hours. ZESA attributes the scarcity of power to low levels of water at Kariba dam and to ageing equipment at Hwange thermal power station.
Mobile operators reportedly told TechnoMag that in an interview operating base stations now has certain daily costs. Some networks have resorted to the use of generators which are very expensive to maintain. It is also difficult to use them considering that fuel is also scarce.
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Estimations suggest that the maintenance of 8 800 base stations for 16 hours on diesel alone at an average of 20 litres per day would require a minimum of ZWL$100 533 per day. In a month’s time, the bill would have reached ZWL$3 015 936.00. This is not sustainable since there are other operational costs to meet.
Every base station in Zimbabwe has some form of paid security services, security walling and those with solar and diesel generators demand physical presence to guard against theft, and this comes at a cost as well.