Kenya: Technical Hitch Locks Out Airtel Subscribers


Airtel customers suffered a network outage last week. The outage affected calls originating from Airtel and sending SMS, though some calls from other networks and international calls were able to terminate on Airtel. The customers could also not load airtime directly from scratch cards or make purchase from Airtel money. The cause of the problem is yet to be explained by the company.

Airtel Kenya had told consumers via text message and social media that it was working on the 'slight hitch' in the morning, but was yet to resolve it several hours later. "We have a slight hitch and our engineers are on it. Sorry for inconvenience," Airtel Kenya official page said on twitter in the morning in response to public queries on the problem. Hours later it said,"Dear customers, sorry for the unexpected service outage for the last 3 hours. Our technical team is restoring it to normalcy,"

The company officials had not responded directly to us by press time but by late afternoon the problem seemed to have been largely dealt with. The service outage, which also affected internet connection, comes barely two weeks after it launched it 3G network. Airtel has around 4.5 million subscribers which is around 16 per cent of the country total subscriber base. It has 8.5 per cent market share of the data market.