Flood disaster: This is how telcos, Vodafone and O2 fight

Flood disaster: This is how telcos, Vodafone and O2 fight

Telecom, Vodafone are working hard to repair the cell phone stations and junction boxes destroyed by the floods. Mobile stations step in violation. There is additional data volume for disaster victims. present situation.

flood disaster
Cellular and fixed network infrastructure in the west of the Federal Republic of Germany has also been severely damaged. But working cell phone networks are especially important in times of need. This is the current situation for the mobile networks of Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and O2.

Deutsche Telekom


The Deutsche Telekom network was badly damaged by storms and floods. A total of about 130 locations failed in crisis zones in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. In the meantime, however, more than half of telco’s failed mobile communications sites are said to be on the network again. In many places, this means that basic mobile phone coverage is guaranteed again. Higher abilities will gradually follow.

The technical teams will work diligently to reconnect the areas which are not yet reconnected. Ideally, technicians attempt to put existing infrastructure back into operation at existing locations and systems. But in some places the floods have completely destroyed the existing infrastructure that telcos had to use mobile stations and radio link connections to be able to put the mobile network back into operation.

Telecom names lack of power supply and accessibility of locations as the main problems.


For the fixed network, the telco is yet to give the exact figure of the damage situation. According to Telekom, water and debris caused significant damage to fiber optic and copper cables in large parts of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. Telecom technicians are currently revamping the exchanges. This enabled the central hub in Gerolstein to be brought back online over the weekend. There are about 10,000 connections and several cell phone locations connected to this exchange.

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Many “gray” boxes on roads and sidewalks will also need to be replaced or repaired. There are places where an entirely new infrastructure has to be built, as Deutsche Telekom emphasizes. Sometimes entire roads and bridges were torn by cables. In some areas, the restoration of infrastructure will take several weeks. There, Telecom tries to ensure a fast, provisional supply to the Ahar Valley with emergency measures such as laying fiber optic cables above ground. The Ahar Valley was the epicenter of the flood disaster.

On the other hand, storms in Bavaria and Saxony currently have no effect on telecom networks.

Service package for people in distressed areas:

Telecom service teams are currently sending cell phones, SIM cards and power banks to distressed areas. Telecom is also distributing there “Quick Starter Packages” so that people without a landline connection can get back online quickly. In addition, affected customers will receive data packages via SMS or email. Contract customers can currently activate unlimited data volume for 31 days free of charge. On the hotline, those affected by distress areas will be given priority without waiting and will be treated favorably, as promised by the telcos.


Twitter informs telcos about what is happening in disaster areas.


Vodafone announced this morning that its technicians have been able to reactivate several cell phone stations in flooded areas since last Thursday. However, 1/6 of the stations are still offline. Either because these places were badly damaged by the flood or completely destroyed, Vodafone reports.

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In order to bring back the network for many customers despite the failures, Vodafone re-adjusted about 200 working stations thus significantly increasing their range. These stations now also broadcast in areas whose stations were destroyed by floods and provide basic LTE and GSM coverage there. As a result, Vodafone was able to rapidly and significantly reduce the proportion of unnetworked mobile phone subscribers, the company reports. Currently, less than ten percent of all customers in disaster areas do not have basic reception. For those affected with no cell phone reception, this is hardly any consolation.

Like telcos, Vodafone is trying to close these gaps with “mobile base stations”. These will be brought to the troubled area on special transporters. Another emergency solution is the “Accelerated Network Team”, which will set up mini cellular networks for people.

Vodafone technicians are currently working with top priority at a total of 25 locations. If possible these stations should go back online this week and thus provide basic services at least throughout the disaster area.

Vodafone customers in a disaster area received 100 gigabytes of data on their mobile phones as an emergency aid. So that – where the landline network is broken and the cellular network is available – they can surf and make calls.

Telephone / O2

In the disaster area, the O2 cellular network was damaged in several places and partially failed. Telefónica/O2 technicians have been working continuously since Friday to restore the O2 network. Meanwhile, cellular networks have been repaired in more than two-thirds of the places that were affected by power failures. They are making good progress in places O2 technicians can currently access.

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In most cases, the destroyed or interrupted power supply is the cause of the failure of the mobile radio system. Telefónica / O2 is in close contact with local crisis teams, responsible authorities and energy providers while restoring the mobile phone network.

A mobile O2 base station on the A553 to supply the area near Bliesheim.

in great shape

A mobile O2 base station on the A553 to supply the area near Bliesheim.

© twitter.com/telefonica_de/status/1416700133891260418

In locations particularly vulnerable to flooding, O2 will deploy mobile base stations and use emergency power generators to supply cell phone masts with electricity. “So far, O2 has been able to expand its mobile network in Leverkusen, Heinsberg, Kurten, Heimbach, Engelskirchen, Bad Münstereifel, Alfter and Sprockhovel (all of them North Rhine-Westphalia) as well as Bad Neuenhr-Ahrweiler, Sinzig, Linz. has succeeded. to restore am Rhein, Erpel and, among others, Bad Breisig (Rhineland-Palatinate). In addition, many other places now have a functioning cellular network again,” the company reports.

However, O2 points out that cell phone coverage is not yet reaching the same potential everywhere as it was before the flood. Therefore, O2 asks you to consider reducing calls to family and friends or at least supplying messages to other affected mobile phone customers.


O2 uses Twitter to report on its fight against the consequences of the flood

Flood Map: Track water level in real time

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