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MTN blames network outage on system collapse

.As CEO announces compensation for customers

MTN Nigeria Plc has blamed the network outage experienced by its customers on October 9, 2021, to an error that shifted all its 4G customers onto the 3G band.

The service provider therefore announced a compensation for customers, and apologised for the poor services caused by the outage, according to a statement in Lagos, yesterday.

The MTN CEO, Olutokun Toriola, in his personalised two text messages to customers, the first attached with a link to a free-to-watch video in the morning and the second later in the early evening with the announcement of compensation. “Dear customer, you’ve been refunded airtime and/or data used 12-7pm yesterday. To check, dial *556# and read the follow-on SMS for your now correct compensation.”

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. 

In his message to customers, Toriola 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. 

“Our technical teams have traced the cause of the problem to an error that shifted all our 4G customers onto the 3G band. This overloaded the 3G band, causing a domino effect that impacted the whole network. Our engineers were able to resolve the problem.

“I know that recently other technology companies have suffered outages. I want to reassure you that last Saturday’s event is in no way connected to those. This wasn’t sabotage, it was a regrettable error. 

“While we work to strengthen our 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 and7 pm yesterday. We hope it shows how much we value our customers. You truly are our most important focus.” 

He concluded by noting that irrespective of age or jurisdiction, everyone encounters challenges. “What matters is how we respond. With you by our side, we will continue to improve and grow.” 

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