3 min read

Always on the road - Field Installer interview

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Morten and Svenn, two of UBConnect’s installers, take a moment out of their workday to talk to us about the importance of their job.

-Around Christmas time in 2011 a huge storm nicknamed Dagmar hit Norway, knocking out power and telecom base stations. Whole counties were without mobile service for days, as these base stations usually had only 2-hours-worth of back-up in terms of battery power. The Norwegian Communications Authority then decreed that all base stations must have at least 6 hours of reserve power in cases of accidents or power loss.IMG_7256

-That’s where we come in!, says Morten, pictured to the right with Lukas Fossheim, one of our electricians. -Our project encompasses battery swaps and upgrades, ensuring that each base station we work on has sufficient power and is able to provide mobile service in case of an emergency. The battery is installed and a new configuration made to connect it. Occasionally we also have to swap rectifiers on these sites, which can add a degree of difficulty to the work.

-This can take as little as two hours, if the site is easily accessible and there are no problems during the installation. Depending on how difficult the sites are, and how far apart they are, we can do between 2 and 5 sites a day, he explains.

City vs country living

-We love it best when we work in the countryside, on sites we refer to as Greenfield sites, continues Morten, with Svenn agreeing. -Working in a city, especially in the center, can be quite challenging, especially if we have to use a crane to lift our equipment and material to an inaccessible rooftop.

-Not to mention that it’s always difficult to find parking, laughs Morten. -If you park further away from your site, that means you have to carry all this heavy equipment to that building, and then usually up a flight of stairs… We love it best in the country.

-It depends on the time of year of course. Right now (April) we have a lot of melting snow, which means lots of mud, but at least you’re in the fresh air and getting good exercise!

Travel for a livingIMG_7208

Svenn shares that he loves doing this work: -I like going to the field, travelling around Norway. You’re never in one place too long – you work on one site, and then you move on! I also like the rotational mode of working we have, which is working 12 days, and then having 9 days off. I really appreciate that.

-I think at this point we’ve been to 80% of Norway, in terms of counties, adds Morten. -We’ll be revisiting some areas now, as the new technology that’s currently being installed uses more energy than providers originally calculated, so we’ll need to update the back-up power on those sites to match the equipment’s output. I think there are 3 counties we haven’t worked in, but I hope we’ll get to them too!

Both Morten and Svenn agree that their favorite location is the Lofoten region. -The coastline, the beautiful nature, the water that’s green, not because of the glacier, but because of the sand… It’s the prettiest place we’ve been to.

-But we’re looking forward to working near Lillehammer, where we’re from, says Svenn. -It’ll be the first time we’ll be working close to home, which is very nice.

A positive attitudeMicrosoftTeams-image (54

-I like the work that the company is doing, and the people that are doing it, says Svenn (pictured to the right). -Everyone is always happy and smiling and ready to help.

Morten agrees and adds: -I like that, if I have an issue, I always get an answer. For example, if I’m having trouble configuring a rectifier, all I need to do is call up one of our specialists and he’ll walk me through the whole process. Whenever we have a problem, we can reach out and get help.

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