Is free Facebook responsible for internet outage and airtime deductions with Airtel Zambia?


And so it begins. Internet outage galore!

Yesterday we told you how the internet service from Airtel Zambia has remarkably slowed to become almost non-existent over the weekend probably due to the launch of their free Facebook access promotion but it seems the problem has continued well into this week.  We sent out a question on our Facebook page asking how people on the Airtel network are finding the internet connection and here were a few replies:


Yes the people have spoken, the internet outage is everywhere. Question still remains, what could be the problem? Our answer is congestion, which is what should be happening with Airtel right now due to the free Facebook service. Usage surges are high on the network and with many people obviously trying to reload pages the internet space gets loaded with many more requests increasing decreased internet services some more. This can be controlled by increasing the bandwidth limit to enable more data transfers to happen. Hopefully this is what they are working on after sending out this message:

bad-netThe promotion was generally a bad idea to start with. The timing was off seeing as World Cup fever is on. Every Zambian wants to get in on the soccer action and what better platform than Facebook to air their views, then Airtel decides to roll out an internet limiting, non-tested product onto the market scene.

Now it seems their own clients are trying to only get on Facebook for the purpose of expressing disappointment  at Airtel Zambia on their Facebook page, telling off the mobile operator about their poor internet service as seen in  images below:


We are now worried about the reported airtime deductions from Airtel Zambia client’s mobile accounts. Is the ‘free’ service actually taking up airtime by mistake? Readiness is all and in this case Airtel should have tried a test promo before going all out and ruining their name like this.

A call to their Customer Care Centre was a trip with voice prompts redirecting me to various recorded automated messages. A call to an Airtel Zambia PR person was futile as she only said she would text the number of another person who would give answers but she did not send that  number  by the time of print. Looks like even she, as placed in Public (who all consumers are) Relations (involving the exchange of information on services) as she is,  has no idea what is going on over there.

Where are all the other mobile operators at this point? Just a few minutes ago, MTN Zambia uploaded this on their Facebook page.

mtn-beefOur fingers are crossed that it isn’t the same idea of freebies on the internet scene otherwise we might as well just forget about working online ever again! All we can do is wait for whatever it is MTN is now introducing that we hope for the internet’s sake doesn’t crash it.

Where is ZICTA in all this?

Image Credit: MTN 

About Sandi Chimpala

Tech blogger. Gadget junkie. Life lover. Super awesome chic (me thinks). Dark some days. I love eyeliner. Don't fight me for my food!

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