Mobile phones could go dark around Europe over the next few months if power cuts or energy rationing knocks out parts of the mobile networks across the region.
Russia’s decision to halt gas supplies via Europe’s key supply route in the wake of the Ukraine conflict has increased the chances of power shortages.
In France, the situation is made worse by several nuclear power plants shutting down for maintenance.
Industry officials say they fear a severe winter will put Europe’s telecommunications infrastructure to the test, forcing companies and governments to try to mitigate the impact.
Currently there are not enough backup systems in many European countries to handle widespread power cuts, four telecoms executives said, raising the prospect of mobile phone outages.
European Union countries, including France, Sweden and Germany, are trying to ensure communications can continue even if power cuts end up exhausting the backup batteries installed on the thousands of cellular antennas spread across their territory.