A few days ago, Safaricom experienced nationwide network outages – restricting up to 31.8 million consumers from calling, using MPESA or texting, all across the country.
During the outage, the company said in an official statement, “Please note that we are experiencing intermittent network challenges affecting a number of services in our network including voice and data for some customers. We are working to restore all services as soon as possible. We are sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience”.
No explanation was provided by the telecoms provider as to why the network was down. However, after Kenya’s Communications Authority’s statement to be looking into the disruption, services were restored.
“The authority will certainly investigate and seek to know the cause of the downtime,” a source told TechWeez. “Safaricom is in a unique situation where a network outage would cause a threat to the economy. A lot of people rely on their voice, data and MPESA services to run their businesses so it is critical that they maintain 99.99% uptime at any one time.”
Safaricom is currently Kenya’s largest telecoms provider with over 34 million active consumers – meaning, if their network is down, it’ll impact a massive portion of the population.
“Service outages are the last thing a network like Safaricom would want since it puts them at risk of penalties from the regulator. If Safaricom is found liable, they will be fined up to 0.2% of their revenues according to the law, which in their case could be hundreds of millions of shillings.”
This is not the first time the network provider has experienced outages in 2019. In August, Safaricom consumers were impacted by an outage that affected data services.