How does Cell Towers Operate if the power goes out to the site?

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Just curious on how the towers operate with power loss. We've had many big storms in Winnipeg Beach knocking out the power to the entire area for over a day at times. Do the towers have back up generators or a type of battery? I get cell service for a while after the power goes out but after a few hours we get no service. I think I may have seen a generator next to the hut of a Rogers tower in Winnipeg on Garwood Cres.
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Dan, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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Graham, RF Engineering

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Official Response
Hi Dan, MTS uses large battery power plants that can provide 8+ hours of life for a cell site. In extended outages we have the capability of bringing in towed generators.
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Jason Z, Official Rep

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Official Response
Graham is correct. On-site permanent diesel generators are reserved for larger "central offices" and some very remote locations. Typically single cell sites will not have them in place.
When AC power fails at a site we get alarms in our NOC and then review how much battery power we have and consult with Manitoba Hydro on restoration times. We can hook up portable generators to most of our sites if the expected delay is longer than battery life. Unfortunately at times due to faulty batteries we can lose power to a site and the equipment will then fail.

During widespread outages (storms that cover large geographical areas) we can be scrambling to multiple locations with generators. Our teams do a great job of covering some big areas.

Great question.