Gas is getting scarce and everyone has to save. This applies not only to private individuals, but also to companies. However, this does not mean that you can now simply avoid paying your energy bill. Vodafone has apparently done just that. Since the major network operator unceremoniously missed the payment of its electricity bill, customers in Baden-Württemberg were left without a network for several days.
Network outage of Vodafone in Baden-Württemberg
Mobile customers in Baden-Württemberg were affected by an extensive network outage of the provider Vodafone for several days until Tuesday this week. The cause was probably the simple fact that the mobile provider did not pay the electricity bill at the Oberkirch municipal utility – and that for months. The utility then summarily cut off Vodafone’s power after further ignored requests for payment. This emerges from a report of the Badische Neueste Nachrichten (BNN). The power outage with announcement meant that Vodafone could no longer operate its local broadcasting station. As a result, the network provider’s local customers were left without a mobile network.
Since the transmitting station is located in a commercial area, it is not only residential customers who use it. Businesses were therefore also affected by the problem. According to the report, some companies were barely able to work because neither the fixed nor the mobile network was working. The Internet also seems to have been disrupted, as e-mail services probably also gave up the ghost. Vodafone seemed to be anything but customer-friendly. According to the report, it seems to have been virtually impossible for private individuals and companies to reach the network operator at all via customer service. One company had even tried 16 or 17 times to contact the service until they found a contact person.
Fragile payment morale at Vodafone
In one fell swoop, however, Vodafone’s network problem is said to have been solved. This was only possible because the local municipal utilities were cooperative and trustworthy. After Vodafone announced the payment in arrears, the electricity flowed again. Consequently, the network operator was also able to put the base station back into operation. Since the questionable payment behavior of the local Vodafone branch is not new for the energy provider, it is quite commendable that it relented even before payment was received. According to the Oberkirch municipal utilities, Vodafone is not in a good light, especially in direct comparison with the competition from o2 and Telekom. They use the same mast, but unlike Vodafone, they always pay their bills on time.
This may be due to the fact that the network operator relies on outsourcing for its local base station. For example, another company has been taking care of the Baden-Württemberg site for just under two years. As early as 2021, the electricity provider had to follow up several times in order to receive the outstanding payments for 2020. This year, this again does not seem to have worked. Reminders and the threat of a future power cut did not change anything. Vodafone itself is naturally not at all pleased about the process. Accordingly, the network operator has also announced that it will conduct internal investigations.
Internet and fixed network only briefly affected
The company has already been able to provide information about the extent of the consequences. Internet and fixed network connections via fiber optics were only disrupted for a short time. As already mentioned, the situation was different for mobile communications. This failed within a radius of just under three kilometers around the affected transmission tower. It now remains to be seen whether the story is really over for Vodafone. Since the problem also affected some businesses, there could well be the threat of high-priced compensation payments. After the recent news about the Consumer Center’s lawsuit against Vodafone, this is really not good news. Incidentally, an example from Canada shows just how curious the cause of an Internet outage can be. Here, a beaver caused a gigantic blackout.