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Whitepaper: Telecommunication & Power Supply

Whitepaper: Telecommunication & Power Supply


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From healthcare and the defence sector through to transport, the police services and the government, the telecommunications industry is one that is relied on by so many, and in so many ways. Television, radio, broadband and mobile communications, as well as AI technology, 5G networks and VoIP, have morphed society into one that is constantly connected, aiding key societal functions such as data processing, customer service, entertainment purposes and even national security. The telecommunications industry itself is heavily reliant on uninterruptible power supply to meet these demands – ensuring that they can provide communications continuity, reduce downtime and provide customers with a great service. In fact, the energy sector is another that is reliant on telecommunications – to help manage and maintain their network of generators and grid distribution, and ensure grid resiliency during adverse situations. With such a key role to play in life as we know it, the importance of power to the industry cannot be overstated. In this whitepaper, we aim to show the importance of rugged telecom power supply, and what daily threats and industry legislation has helped to shape this. Active within the telecommunication sector ourselves – supplying industry compliant power supply equipment and services to sites and businesses – we’ve seen the importance of power supply, and the difference it can make to the industries it serves.

The Telecommunications Industry: A Brief History

The ability to convey information quickly, accurately, and effectively has always been one of the main forces driving human innovation. From signal fires to the smartphones, communications have come a long way, and still remains vital for survival and success. In the UK alone, there are 59.45 million smartphone users and 45.1 million people use the internet daily – for example. With telecommunication providers ranging from TalkTalk, Virgin Mobile and BT, through to Sky, O2 and GiffGaff, consumers have much choice when it comes to their broadband, internet and mobile packages. But how did this vital industry start, and what developments led us to the fantastic technology that can fit into the palm of our hands? Let’s take a brief look at the history of telecommunications to find out.

The industry has certainly come a long way, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without its issues. In the next section, we take a look at threats to telecom power supply.

Threats To Rugged Telecom Power Supply

With strict regulation and legislation around telecommunications, you may be wondering the inherent need for all of this. In this section, we consider all of the threats to continuity of service that telecom businesses need to take into consideration when it comes to their business, efficiency and power supply. According to EC-RRG (Electronic Communications Resilience & Response Group)’s ‘Telecommunications Networks – a vital part of the Critical National Infrastructure’, these threats can be grouped into 5 key categories:

Physical Threats To Power Supply

Physical threats include natural phenomena such as earthquakes, extreme weather, flooding and lightning, as well as:

Loss Of Key Inputs

Telecommunications depends on the continuous availability of many ‘key inputs’, which include:

Electricity, especially, is a key input. Not only is the telecoms industry dependent on electricity, but the power industry depends on telecoms to help them manage their network of generators and grid distribution. Without electricity and electrical power, companies can suffer without appropriate backup systems in place.

System/Logical Failings

As stated in, ‘Telecommunications Networks – a vital part of the Critical National Infrastructure’: ‘’To prevent being vulnerable to the failure of a single part of the system, telecommunications companies will invest, where practical, in duplicate or triplicate back-ups for their equipment (redundancy) and diverse transmission routings. Thus the ‘logical’ architecture of the service will be more resilient than the simple physical layout. But sometimes, due often to human error, these logical configurations can themselves fail to provide the expected level of resilience. The key is to avoid, wherever possible, ‘single points of failure’.

Unfortunately, not all parts of the network can be made resilient and in these cases, the complementary processes of restoration and repair have to be strengthened.’’

Software Failures

All telecommunications networks are reliant on software controlled equipment, and unfortunately, no software is immune from errors and operational failings. A big cause for concern are ‘systemic’ or ‘common-mode’ failure, where a software error in one network node leads to the same fault to occur in other connected nodes, which further leads to a ‘runaway’ failure of an entire network. These threats are not only disruptive, but can lead to power outages across networks, towns and cities.

Electronic Interference

Telecommunications networks, including those using IP technology, can be vulnerable to external conditions entering the system via the network itself. A whole host of threats fall under this category, and these include:

In the next section we take a look at what can be done to mitigate these threats.

Current Legislation Within The Telecoms Industry

Because the threats mentioned in the previous section could be detrimental to the stability of business operations, the government has issued guidelines and legislation that relate to each of the aforementioned threats, and these are as follows:

Physical Threats

Businesses should:

Loss of Key Inputs

System/Logical Failures

These threats have to be accounted for and designed-in from the start.

For example:

It’s actually for this reason that BT maintains a group of strategically positioned trailer-mounted exchanges which can be deployed where they are needed for fast restoration. Beyond this, replacement power equipment and generators can be deployed. All telephone exchanges can also use duplicated computers and switch paths internally.

Software Failures

Exchange equipment should be designed to detect software which is not working properly, contain the problem and restart the troublesome sub-system.

To avoid ‘common mode’ failures, some companies will use two types of equipment in their network from different suppliers, to prevent any ‘domino failures’.

Electronic Interference

No network has unending amounts of spare capacity to cope with the increased demand for calls which occur during major incidents. Traffic overloads in telephone networks can cause major problems which can be avoided by using traffic management techniques, such as ‘call gapping’ which lessens the load on the system to one that can be safely managed and maintained. In some situations, priority access to the networks can be provided to ensure that appropriate public authorities can continue to function effectively.

For further guidance, please refer to:

In the next section we discuss electrical power planning in the telecoms sector and the importance of emergency responses.

Electrical Power Planning In The Telecoms Sector

As stated in chapter 7 of, ‘Telecommunications Networks – a vital part of the Critical National Infrastructure’’: ‘Emergency Plans And Response Measures’:

‘’However well telecommunications providers build their networks and systems, the investment in resilience will always reflect the perceived risks, the known vulnerabilities and the practicality of trying to protect assets against the increasingly uncertain modes of attack by malicious parties. It is therefore important that as well as building in resilience and other mitigating measures against risks, there should be clear plans and response measures should emergency situations arise.’’

Telecommunications providers have always worked with Emergency Planning organisations in both central and local government to deliver support for emergencies within the community.

Under CSIA’s chairmanship, the Telecommunications Industry Emergency Planning Forum operates under two key documents:

There is also a non-disclosure agreement which protects any shared information from going beyond the emergency planning community.

The Emergency Plan contains information on emergency contact points, emergency scenarios, management processes for handling emergencies, and priority customers and services.

The aims of the emergency arrangements in place within the document are consistent with the Cabinet Office “Concept of Operations” (CONOPs) to:

As stated in the plan: ‘’A telecoms emergency can take many forms, but an emergency response may be required as a result of, for example, a major technical failure, an electronic attack (on telephony or data systems, including the internet) as well as human error, or infrastructure being affected by flooding or other incidents. The response to this will be determined by the severity and cause of the disruptions.’’

How information is shared is a key part of the emergency response, with steps including:

NEAT is the National Emergency Alert for Telecoms and is used to coordinate an industry response to a crisis as well as for liaison between industry and government. BIS is responsible for leading the response to a civil emergency involving telecoms, or forms part of a response to an event where telecoms are disrupted, either directly or indirectly.

The Memorandum of Understanding allows the sharing of human and material resources between providers when needed in an emergency.

The Emergency Planning Forum continues to oversee the maintenance of these documents and is working on further activities to identify risks and improve resilience for all.

You can find details of local resilience forums here

Finding equipment that can reduce the likelihood of power outages is not always so simple. Therefore, in the next section, we present UPS systems and generators that can help to meet your needs.

Telecoms UPS Systems & Generators That Meet Emergency Power Requirements

Two key assets to telecommunication businesses are uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and generators. Whereas network UPS systems provide emergency power to a load when the input power source or mains power fails, a generator converts mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy to provide electricity when power from the power grid is unavailable

Our generators – for example – offer total power solutions that can meet the demands of the telecommunications industry. Providing emergency power for a variety of companies who deal with broadband, internet, phone, radio, television and PBX systems, our generators can provide you with the telecom power you need, so that your customers never experience downtime for long periods of time.

The HIMOINSA generator sets with Yanmar engines can include a special kit that allows for longer maintenance intervals of up to 1000 hours. This provides a great advantage for rental and telecom power applications as it guarantees more autonomy and reduced operation costs, especially for those that will be installed on remote sites. The accompanying kit includes a larger tank, which supplies extra oil to the engine, offering a significant reduction on filter costs and downtime. This feature is available in both the Industrial range HYW (8-45 kVA) and the Rental range HRYW (16 – 40 kVA).

For high masts and remote communication systems, remote monitoring is always recommended. With C2CLOUD – for example – we can enable remote and real-time supervision and monitoring of one or a number of generator set control units. The system is ready to send pre-programmed or configurable warnings. The genset transmits information every 60 minutes to the server, or whenever an unexpected event occurs, so that you’re always in the know. What’s more, the C2CLOUD kit uses GPS global positioning and accelerometer technology which allows it to locate the units and to find any movements when the generator sets are switched off to raise the alarm in the event of a robbery.

Not only can we install, supply, maintain and manage quality generators, but we also offer a great range of UPS systems, which includes those that feature in Dale E200, Dale E600 series or the Dale E700 series. The Dale E200 power supply range comprises double conversion, single phase output, desktop UPSs providing no break power. Ideal for situations requiring a clean and regulated AC supply to sensitive equipment, extension battery packs can be added to increase autonomy time. The Dale E600 UPS power supply range offers flexibility and reliable power control with configurable modular redundancy for the best in dependability. The level of redundancy is fully-adjustable to meet the criticality of the protected load and hot swappable modules allow servicing and repairs to be made whilst the UPS supports the load. The Dale E700 series provides internal sealed, maintenance free VRLA batteries for extended autonomy in the event of a mains failure (up to 40kVA), and if needed, external batteries can also be installed for extended autonomy. We have a vast range in our UPS product line, and are always happy to advise and guide based on your power requirements.


The telecommunications industry has a huge responsibility to be fully-operational at all times, especially when it comes to the welfare of the people it serves, and the needs of the healthcare and defence sectors. Understanding the threats that could impact power supply and how best to mitigate them – whether that’s through internal cellular security, sensors, battery backups or having spare parts – can help secure rugged telecom power supply and reduce the likelihood of telecom power outages, as well as the associated damages. Having emergency plans in place is also key, and as a fail safe that protects key operating systems. Reliable power supply comes from critical power equipment such as generators and UPS that can respond effectively to whatever the weather, human error or unexpected event throws at them, with unfaltering performance. That’s why specialist products, such as those produced by Dale Power Solutions, are required. They can mitigate risks, work unhindered for extensive periods of time, and ensure your business always has the clean power it needs to be an operational success.

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