Telecommunications operator, MTN Nigeria, has said that the recent service outage experienced by its customers was caused by a “regrettable error” on the network. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Olutokun Toriola, MTN’s technical team had traced the cause of the problem to “an error that shifted all our 4G customers onto the 3G band.”
He said the overloaded 3G band caused a domino effect that impacted the whole network, adding that the engineers were later able to resolve the problem.
MTN subscribers were on Saturday, October 9 thrown into confusion as they were unable to make calls or access data. The service outage, which lasted for about five hours affected millions of subscribers across the country.
Apologising to the customers, Toriola in a video broadcast released yesterday, said: “Last Saturday, we had an outage that left our customers without a connection for several hours. On behalf of the entire MTN team, I want to start with a heartfelt apology. We are truly sorry for the disruption this caused for so many in our MTN family.
“We know that millions of people rely on us to stay connected to their loved ones, to manage their businesses, to coordinate their lives. We take that responsibility, and privilege, very seriously. That’s why we are putting new measures in place to make sure we never experience anything like last Saturday again.”
While noting that other technology companies recently suffered outages, Toriola said the event on the MTN network had no connection with them. “This wasn’t sabotage, it was a regrettable error,” he added.
He said that while the company is working to strengthen its network to prevent further disruptions of any kind, “we wanted to find a way to say sorry. Something more than extending the validity of all time-bound plans by 24 hours, which we did as soon as service was restored.”
“So, while we can’t give you back the time you lost last Saturday, we can give you back what you spent yesterday. Every customer on the MTN network has received a refund for the data and airtime that they used between 12 noon and 7 pm yesterday. We hope it shows how much we value our customers. You truly are our most important focus,” he added.