Global warming affects mobile too. Heat wave knocks out Vodafone Australia
Global warming (nay, climate change) doesn’t only affect non-mobile businesses, it seems. In fact, the increasing prevalence of extreme weather is slowly but surely starting to take its toll on carriers.
Vodafone Australia is the latest to be affected by this. Because of the extremely high temperatures brought upon by a heat wave, the air conditioning stopped working at a major switching center in Tullamarine, Melbourne. With no cooling, the switch immediately overheated and then failed as a result.
Parts of Victoria were left without coverage because of this incident, with around half of Vodafone’s Victoria customers feeling the impact. Those account for about 15% of the carrier’s subscribers nationally, so this wasn’t a small disruption.
The failure seemed to affect inbound calls only. Outbound calls may have suffered a lot less, if at all. Some services were restored in about four hours.
This goes to show that mobile companies aren’t immune to the constant changing of the weather, so maybe in the future they should start to take that into account when they plan network deployments. If there had been a backup cooling system at that switching center in Australia, no disruption would have occurred.