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Safaricom experiences countrywide network outage

Safaricom House. (Photo: Jenipher Wachie, Standard)

NAIROBI, KENYA: Network service provider Safaricom Monday experienced more than one hour of outage that affected voice calls, data, M-Pesa and Enterprise services.

Subscribers were caught unawares by the unusual outage that affected operations, including businesses that significantly rely on the internet. The service provider attributed the network outage to a technical hitch.

In a statement to media houses, the country’s largest telecom services provider said it has identified the problem and working with engineers to restore services.

“We have identified the root cause of the outage and are working to resolve this in the shortest time possible. In the meantime, Voice, Data, SMS, M-PESA and Enterprise services will be available intermittently until the issue is fully resolved,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

“We will continue to update customers on the progress to restore services. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”

At 0805 GMT, Safaricom’s shares were down 0.3 percent at Sh19.15 on the Nairobi Securities Exchange

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Safaricom’s outage problem began at 9.30 am on Monday and it sent many Kenyans online to express different views.

They tweeted from various parts of the country complaining that they were unable to complete their calls.

A twitter user @JMdoma posted “@bobcollymore @Safaricom_Care what’s happening with Safaricom network we can’t call/receive calls are you sitting on the cables?”

“Apologies, we are having a challenge affecting our network, data and M-PESA; our team is working to resolve. Inconvenience regretted,” Safaricom tweeted in response to one of the concerned subscribers.

More users expressed their frustrations from the inconvenience occasioned by the loss of network.

@ebyans: @Safaricom_Care the network in Garissa town is currently down Time: 10:30 am 24/04/2017

@kiogy: @Safaricom_Care Is there a problem with MPESA this morning? No transactions going through. Ps assist.

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@slyqush: @Safaricom_Care @bobcollymore My phone has lost network and my calls are not going through. What could be the problem?

Safaricom accounts for more than 70 per cent of mobile service subscriptions in the country, with over 27 million subscribers. 

“I should stop this mediocrity of over relying on Safaricom line. Time I bought a 2nd line, but which? Airtel or Orange? #safaricomDown,” tweeted @Jay2em.

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