Vodacom, a leading African mobile communications company has launched Radio Access Network (RAN) Mobile Recovery Solution, mobile data centers on wheels to solve unexpected network crisis. The facility enables the company to restore functionality of its defective Mobile Telephone Exchange (MTX) within 48 hours.
The MTX sites link the RAN (base station) to Vodacom’s core network. Each site is dependent on transmission infrastructure to route voice and data traffic between subscribers, devices and systems.
“We call this type a “hole-in-the-ground” recovery solution because it’s used in the very unlikely event that our entire facility’s functionality completely disappears. These mobile data centers effectively allow us to recover our site within 48 hours, instead of the two years it typically takes to build a new MTX site,” said Vodacom Network Engineering Officer, Beverly Ngwenya.
Earlier, a testing of the system was conducted by stimulating the recovery of Vodacom’s entire Midrand MTX site, which provides connections to thousands of customers in the southern and central parts of Gauteng.
“I’m extremely pleased that everything ran smoothly and we reported no loss of service. This is due to the level of skill and dedication of the project team. Their hard work has resulted in a solution that not only ensures we are prepared in the event of a major crisis but also embeds our position as the leader in constant connectivity,” said Vodacom’s Chief Technology Officer Andries Delport.
Vodacom has integrated two solutions to ensure this 48 hour turnaround time. One services in the northern part of the country, while the second is based in Bloemfontein to take care of South Africa. Each recovery solution consists of complete power backup with on-board generators, fire suppression, air conditioning, raised flooring, building management systems, security systems, and network equipment.
“We spend a lot of time making sure our network is as resilient as it can possibly be. In fact the majority of our infrastructure is built to be geo-located meaning functionality can be picked up by another site based somewhere else in the country if necessary. Most times this happens without the customer even knowing something is wrong. With the MTX sites, this is not possible. However, with today’s solution in place, I am confident we are as prepared for any eventuality as we can possibly be,” added Delport.