Load shedding is the bane of South Africa’s existence, and with its return to our collective reality this year, it has become clear that the hours-long deprivation of electricity has an effect on just about every part of our lives.

The country’s cellular service providers have said that load shedding affects cellular network connectivity when back-up power systems run out, but it seems that load shedding might also have an effect on data prices due to increased input costs.

South Africa’s largest cellular service provider, Vodacom, has said that the additional strain that the network experiences as a result of load shedding is exacerbated when the cellular batteries that provide back-up electricity to cellular towers don’t have enough time to recharge before another power outage occurs.

Speaking to BusinessInsider, the cellular provider explained that this invariably filters down to customers, as the additional cost associated with keeping the network up and running need to be recovered.

“Vodacom spends significant amounts on backup power solutions such as diesel generators and batteries to maintain power to our sites during periods of protracted load shedding.

“Additional input costs and revenue losses amount to tens of millions of rands.”

Other cellular providers have confirmed that they also expect protracted load shedding to have an effect on their data prices.

Vodacom has put a number of measures in place to ensure that the company’s customers are able to stay connected when the lights go out. To find out what these are, and to find out what would happen if a national blackout occurs, click here.

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