#MondayBlues: What Really caused The Econet Downtime Over The Weekend, When They Have Solar Farms?


Econet Wireless Zimbabwe was completely down for about 6 hours over the weekend, the impact was greatly felt and every subscriber out there wanted to know what was really happening, more importantly, what could be done to avoid a repeat of this.

Econet’s mobile payment platform, Ecocash, that transacts an estimated $20 million a day was down, this was a great loss, not just to them in charge but also with other businesses that use the platform as a means to transact.

The damage went on to Point of Sale machines, (POS), If you could not swipe with your bank card to settle any payment, it simply meant the POS machine could not communicate with its bank because it uses mobile network for such a service, if the network was Econet, then, unfortunately, your transaction could not get through.

But wait a minute, we had huge headlines recently stating that Econet Wireless Zimbabwe had commissioned a large Solar plant to run their NOC offices at Willowvale.

The 466kw plant Designed and installed by Distributed Power Africa (DPA), the Willowvale solar plant has a total of 1435 panels installed at carports and rooftop. According to Econet, It comes complete with a real-time power monitoring system and the plant will generate an estimated 780MWH of energy per annum. It is one of a dozen completed DPA solar projects in Zimbabwe, with more at the project planning stages.

Sources close to the developments at the Willowvale core site said that while the whole network was admittedly down, this incident had nothing to do with lack of power supply, but was however caused by the initial lack of it thereof.

The Willowdale site has two main generators that must kick in whenever there is a power downtime, and automatically, this system takes over till power is restored.

This power is not for base stations, or switching on national grid to keep main sights on, rather it’s only for the core site, that houses critical internal servers that stores important databases for all user transactions and details.

This is run by the main Intelligent Network that then deducts or tops up airtime, runs customers data balances, checks airtime type, calculates whether or not you can make an international or local call, what data type do you have to access what services and running checks and balances as and when you top up.

This system works with a more important one that talks to the server about where your number is reachable from, should you move from one area to another, what base station is your number now reachable on, when someone calls you, which base stations in few seconds they can locate your number before the call starts to ring.

More in details coming soon…

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