During next winter, if portions of the mobile networks in Europe are down due to power outages or energy rationing, mobile phones may go dark throughout the region. This is because many European countries do not have enough backup systems to handle frequent power outages. Sweden and other EU nations are working to ensure that communications can continue even if power outages cause the thousands of backup batteries on cellular antennae to run down: nearly 500,000 telecom towers may be found in Europe, and the majority of them have battery backups that can power the mobile antennae for about 30 minutes. The Swedish telecom regulator PTS is collaborating with telcos, who have also voiced worries to the government about potential electricity shortages and rationing. To deal with lengthier power outages, PTS is funding the acquisition of mobile base stations that connect to mobile phones and transportable gasoline stations. To lessen the effects of a power deficit, mobile operators are collaborating with telecom equipment manufacturers like Nokia and Ericsson. The European telecom operators need to use more energy-efficient radio designs for their networks and reduce unnecessary power consumption. At the moment, telecom companies use software to optimize traffic flow, put towers to “sleep” when not in use, and turn off various spectrum bands in order to conserve power. In order to determine whether there are strategies in place to sustain essential services, telecom companies are collaborating with national governments: European countries, who have long had constant power, typically do not. Read more on Reuters