July 22, 2018 / 11:50 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-Kenya's Safaricom restores services after voice and data outage

(Updates with service resumption)

By Omar Mohammed

NAIROBI, July 22 (Reuters) - Safaricom restored services on Sunday after suffering a voice and data outage that affected critical transmission equipment, Kenya’s biggest telecoms company said.

The outage, caused by a damaged fibre link, lasted several hours.

“We have restored all voice and data services impacted by the outage that had affected the network,” the company said in a statement.

All services were restored by 2.00 pm local time (1100 GMT), it added.

Safaricom, which is 35 percent owned by South Africa’s Vodacom, controls nearly 70 percent of Kenya’s mobile market, with close to 30 million subscribers.

The outage “resulted in loss of voice and SMS services in coast and lower eastern regions, as well as general data unavailability across the network, affecting services operated through the internet,” the company said in a statement.

The company also runs the mobile money platform M-Pesa, which it pioneered in 2007 and now has close to 24 million users in the East African nation of 45 million, handling billions of shillings in daily transfer volumes. The model has been copied in other regional markets and beyond.

Last year, the telecom operator suffered an outage for several hours that knocked out its services that the company at the time said was due to a network failure.

Reporting by Omar Mohammed Editing by Jason Neely and Adrian Croft

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