The Communications Authority of Kenya is investigating the massive outage Safaricom had over the weekend according to Business Daily.
The network outage affected its 31.8 million customers during the weekend, where they couldn’t call, use MPESA or text. Customers on the network lamented about the problems they had on social media thanks to this outage. Safaricom did not specify what was the cause of the massive outage.
“The authority will certainly investigate and seek to know the cause of the downtime,” a source told the publication.
Safaricom is in a unique situation where a network outage would cause a threat to the economy. 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.
Service outages are the last thing a network like Safaricom would want since it puts them at a risk of penalties from the regulator. If Safaricom is found liable, they will be fined upto 0.2% of their revenues according to the law, which in their case could be hundreds of millions of shillings.
This is not the first time network operators have had network outages that go for several hours. Airtel had a day long network service outage back in October this year while Safaricom had a network outage that affect their data services in August.
Network operators in Kenya have paid fines in the past for these network outages. Back in 2015, Communications of Authority revealed that telcos had paid a total of Kshs 190 million in fines where Safaricom paid Kshs 157 million while Airtel and Telkom paid a combined 33 million.