Winter is coming: Vodafone Ukraine ups network investment by 75% to add resiliency


As the war in Ukraine continues, Vodafone is heavily investing in the preservation of its infrastructure 

Vodafone Ukraine increased its capital investments by 75% in the first half of this year, spending over UAH 2 billion ($54.2 million) on repairs and winter preparations. 

As the Russia–Ukraine war continues, Vodafone Ukraine engineers continue to restore destroyed infrastructure, repair equipment, develop and expand the network, and prepare for potential blackouts in the winter. 

According to the company, over 9,000 base stations have been refitted with new batteries, which are adapted to operate in harsh conditions. They are also less sensitive to power surges and frequent power outages, with 2.5–3 times faster charging speeds than the old batteries. 

Additionally, Vodafone Ukraine has supplied a further 1,124 network technical facilities with stationary generators and prepared 522 mobile generators.  The company says it has a sufficient back-up supply of fuel for the winter, backed up by solar power plants and microturbine generators at a number of facilities.  

The firm also reported half-year revenues of UAH 10.4 billion ($283.3 million), a 5% year-on-year increase. 

Last winter was a very difficult period for Ukrainian network operators, which saw their infrastructure targeted alongside the national power grid by a coordinated Russian artillery assault. The attacks saw huge disruption to telecoms services, leaving the operators scrambling to restore and buttress their networks against further attack.  

In a Total Telecom interview with Kyivstar CEO Oleksandr Komarov last December, Komarov noted two noted major problems facing the Ukrainian telcos. The first concerned recovering and restoring sites located in occupied areas of the country, while the second was ensuring the existing sites remains operational during power outages. 

According to Komarov, the main targets of the Russian attacks are generating and transmission facilities of the Ukrainian Energy market, which when they occur, cause huge energy disbalances, resulting in blackouts, which get wider longer with every attack that occurs.  

At the time, Komarov said that up to  25% of the network would be out of operation because of energy supply issues, resulting in 30% of the country being entered into a temporary blackout. 

As such, with winter approaching once again, it should come as no surprise that the operators are turning their attention to reinforcing their power infrastructure by adding new energy solutions and a horde of new generators. 

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