Kenya: Airtel system outage throws subscribers off air

It was a hectic morning for Airtel subscribers who were on Tuesday thrown off-network following a system outage that lasted for close to five hours.

Airtel’s chief operating officer Shivan Bhargava, apologised for the inconvenience caused to customers saying the cut-off was triggered by ongoing network maintenance.

The sorry event prevented subscribers from originating or even terminating calls on their handsets.

Also affected were data, Airtel money and top-up, among other services.

“Due to an ongoing network upgrade, we regret that some customers may experience intermittent service interruptions today,” he said in a statement sent to the news rooms.

He said the upgrade will lead to a better quality experience for all Airtel users across Kenya and that the firm will compensate its clients on subscription based services by adjusting the lost hours appropriately.

According to a story by Okuttah Mark of |Business Daily, the cut off which also affected communication at Airtel office forced both the firm and some of its clients to turn to social media networks to interact.

Twitter was the most preferred medium, followed by local mailing lists such Ke-internetusers which the subscribers used to enquire why the network was down and what it will resume.

For example wrote: “Solomon, you are lucky mine is still down i have even tried rebooting my phone to no avail. Can’t Airtel even say something on national radio stations? Why keep us in the dark as if we don’t matter at all?” read a post on Ke-internet users.

reads Okuttah’s story in part.

See rest of the Business Daily Story below:

“Dear customers, sorry for the unexpected service outage for the last 3 hours. Our technical team is restoring it to normalcy,” read statement from Airtel’s twitter account.

The network upgrade comes shortly after Airtel’s last month launched a 3G network that is currently available in four in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret and Naivasha at a speed of 21 mega bytes per second but intends to spread it across the country.

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