Optus denies mobile network feeling the heat

Optus is denying reports that extremely hot weather conditions across the New South Wales eastern seaboard over the last few days played havoc with its mobile network.Sources close to the company today claimed that Optus technicians were scrambled to mobile base-stations that were "being cooked" yesterday as temperatures climbed to 40 degrees Celsius across the greater Sydney area.

Optus is denying reports that extremely hot weather conditions across the New South Wales eastern seaboard over the last few days played havoc with its mobile network.

Sources close to the company today claimed that Optus technicians were scrambled to mobile base-stations that were "being cooked" yesterday as temperatures climbed to 40 degrees Celsius across the greater Sydney area.

Optus today conceded that high temperature alarms were triggered at a number of its base-stations but denied that there were any network failures as a result of the heat.

"We have generated some high temperature alarms -- which is quite normal when you get such high temperatures -- and that has been at 'some sites', but at no time has there been a threat to the Optus network and there's been no failures," said a spokesperson for the carrier.

However, according to the sources, the company installed emergency air-conditioning at a number of affected sites in order to sustain the network.

Optus conceded that air-conditioning was installed at a number of sites across Sydney but denied that it was in response to the heat. The carrier claimed that air-conditioning units were being "upgraded" to accommodate the roll-out of new 3G equipment being installed at the sites.

It's understood that mobile stations generate large amounts of heat autonomously due to the large amount of microwave emissions they produce.

John Ellery, branch vice-president of the Victorian Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union's (CEPU) technical division, told ZDNet Australia   that high temperature alarms commonly trigger mobile base-stations to shut down.