Big MTN data outage

MTN customers have reported they cannot access the Internet on the operator’s mobile and fixed-LTE networks for several hours on Tuesday morning.

MTN South Africa’s Downdetector page showed a significant increase in reports of issues on its network from around 07:00 AM.

Most users that submitted reports said they either had no signal or were experiencing a problem with their mobile Internet.

Twitter was also filled with complaints from numerous unhappy MTN customers across the country.

“I can’t use my mobile data at all. I have to rely on Wi-Fi. This is not acceptable,” said one user.

“Is there a problem with the network today? I keep getting disconnected from the Internet,” another asked.

The graph below shows the surge in complaints about MTN’s network on Downdetector on Tuesday, 22 November 2022.

In MyBroadband’s own testing, we could not use the data connection on an MTN mobile SIM, while an MTN fixed-LTE package was also offline.

Calls and SMSs appeared to be unaffected by the issue.

Several prominent ISPs that resell packages on MTN’s network — including Afrihost and Axxess — confirmed they were aware of the problems on their dedicated outages pages.

“We are aware of a connectivity problem affecting LTE and mobile clients,” Afrihost said in an update published at 08:09 AM. “Engineers [are] looking at the problem and hope to have it resolved soon.”

At 08:42 AM, Axxess said it had received reports of users experiencing intermittent to no connectivity on their MTN mobile data and fixed-LTE services.

“We are currently investigating with MTN and working on restoring services as soon as possible,” Axxess stated.

Below is the update on the state of the MTN network on Afrihost’s outage tracker page.

In response to complaints from customers on Twitter, MTN said it had already identified the issue, and its engineers were working to resolve it.

This incident is at least the third major outage MTN has suffered in the past few months.

On 4 August 2022, the operator’s data network went down in the Free State and Western Cape provinces for over nine hours.

Then, on 12 October 2022, the MTN data network was slow or offline for users across the country for around three hours.

Update — 11:00

MTN confirmed to MyBroadband that there was a fault on its network and apologised to impacted customers for the inconvenience caused.

“Our engineers are attending to the matter with the aim of restoring connectivity as soon as possible,” the operator said.

Update — 18:00

In a second update at the end of the day, MTN explained the fault occurred during a network component upgrade.

“This had resulted in intermittent connectivity issues,” MTN said.

“However, this has now been resolved and connectivity has been restored.”

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Big MTN data outage