TechInAfrica – During the last weekend, Safaricom—a listed Kenyan mobile network operator headquartered at Safaricom House in Nairobi, Kenya—experienced a nationwide network outage restricting up to 31.8 million consumers from calling, using MPESA, and even texting.
Despite an official statement had been released during the outage, claiming that the company is ‘experiencing intermittent network challenges affecting a number of services in our network including voice and data for some customers,’ this doesn’t stop the agitation of some people as the company didn’t provide a clear reason regarding this outage.
In response to this, the Kenyan Communications Authority stated that they will investigate further into this disruption—the causes, the roots, and the collateral effects. The authority, whilst certainly checking the reason for the unexpected downtime, also deemed that a network outage could be a potential threat to disrupting other aspects of society; economy is one of them.
“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,” a source told TechWeez.
This is further emphasized by the fact that Safaricom is currently Kenya’s largest telecoms provider boasting over 34 million customers—and counting. If that large of a number in the population doesn’t have the access to their daily connectivity needs, 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.”
Whilst not being the first one to experience major, nationwide disruptions, this uncalled accident wouldn’t leave an insignificant impact towards the company and the society itself.