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Communications Authority of Kenya gets report on Safaricom outage

By Frankline Sunday | Published Tue, May 9th 2017 at 00:00, Updated May 8th 2017 at 17:04 GMT +3
Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi addressing the press conference on device Management System that is soon to be launched and refuted claims that the system will access and monitor peoples' phones. This was at Intercontinetal Hotel Nairobi. ON 17/02/2017 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Mobile service provider Safaricom has submitted a report detailing the cause of a network outage that affected its services for several hours last month to the industry regulator.

The report is currently awaiting deliberation by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) board that will then decide what action to take against the telco based on the findings.

“Safaricom submitted to us the report about what caused the outage and we are going to discuss it with the board of directors at the next meeting before we decide what action to take,” said CA Director-General Francis Wangusi yesterday on the sidelines of the 36th ordinary session of the Pan-African Postal Union in Nairobi.

Safaricom had earlier explained that the outage, which occurred on March 24 and saw users unable to text, send and receive money on its M-Pesa platform or browse the Internet, was caused by a failure of its main and redundant links, which were restored after several hours.

“This shouldn’t happen, it is unusual that both the main line and redundant failed,” explained Chief Executive Bob Collymore in a video message on the morning of the outage.

“The technical team kicked into action immediately. We brought the network up temporarily, but then it went back down again,” added Mr Collymore in his statement.

CA then gave Safaricom one week to submit a report explaining the reason for the outage, which it said was in contravention of the firm’s licence requirements.

The regulator also warned that if the technical hitch was caused by a deliberate act, Safaricom could be slapped with one of the highest sanctions ever handed out to a private firm in the country.