Today, MTN Blackberry subscribers all of Nigeria could not access the Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) for a minimum of 12 hours. What that meant was that subscribers could not receive emails, send emails, use the BB chat and perform any other Internet-related activity.
Although the signal service (strength) was displaying ‘EDGE’ which ordinarily would allow you to use the BIS, yet subscribers could neither access the Internet nor read or send emails.
I noticed this trend when I woke up this morning expecting to hear alert tones of emails or BB chat messages to be viewed. Usually, my Blackberry automatically sleeps at 11.55pm and wakes up at 4.55am. It got me wondering when I didn’t get any alerts, so I assumed it was a temporary network problem.
But when this persisted until about 7am when I arrived the office, I knew it was more than a temporary problem. As soon as my phone automatically detected wireless network (WIFI) at the office, tons of emails and BB chat messages started coming in.
When my colleagues came in, I was relieved to know it wasn’t just me and my Blackberry. They too were experiencing the same problem. In fact, one of them said he woke up at about 4am to read some news and respond to some important emails, but couldn’t get access.
At 11.25am, I got an SMS from MTN Nigeria which read:
Dear Customer, MTN Blackberry services are currently unavailable. Work ongoing for speedy resolution. We apologize for inconveniences caused.
Later at 1:20pm, another SMS came and said:
Dear Customer, MTN Blackberry services have been restored. Thank you for choosing MTN.
Was MTN Nigeria trying to say that for the last 12 hours or so, work was “ongoing for speedy resolution”?
When I put a call through to Customer Care (it took about 10 minutes to get through to a customer representative), I was told that they are aware of the BIS outage and can confirm that it’s now back up. I asked what was the problem with the outage and what compensation is there for MTN subscribers affected.
The MTN customer care representative named Chika said they were sorry for the inconvenience and that I can direct my questions on the reasons for the BIS outage to their Network Support Group. [I've contacted them and still awaiting their response.] She even thanked me for choosing MTN. Well Chika, thanks, but I might be leaving MTN.
In case you don’t know, MTN Blackberry service in Nigeria cost N5,000 per month to subscribe, so I thought if half a day’s access to the service has been denied, how do I and others affected get compensated?
What do you think of the MTN Blackberry service outage? Are other Blackberry Internet Services from the other operators any better?
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