Nigeria, Other African Nations Suffer Internet Outage Due to Undersea Cable Damage

Nigeria, Other African Nations Suffer Internet Outage Due to Undersea Cable Damage

  • Numerous African nations experienced internet disruption on Thursday, March 14, due to multiple undersea telecommunication cables encountering failures.
  • MTN Group, a prominent network provider in Africa, attributed the continuing disruptions to failures in several vital undersea cables.
  • The outage has impacted international bank transfers and caused limitations on international voice calls. journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

On Thursday, March 14, an incident involving damage to an undersea cable caused widespread disruption to internet services in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.

As reported by the BBC, the disruption extended to South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Cameroon, and Benin.

There have been internet outage across Nigeria
There are confirmations of internet disruption in North Africa. Photo Credit: Khaichuin Sim
Source: Getty Images

The affected undersea cables near Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, resulted in downtime for various nations across West and South Africa.

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According to The Nation, Vodacom announced in a statement on X that:

“Certain customers are currently experiencing intermittent connectivity issues due to multiple undersea cable failures affecting SA’s network providers, including us. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The disruption has impacted various services like Microsoft Azure and Office 365.

According to Bloomberg, undersea cables, including the West Africa Cable System, MainOne, and ACE, were affected on Thursday, hindering telecommunications data flow.

Consequently, some Nigerian bank networks experienced downtime, leading to transaction processing issues.

MTN addressed customer concerns regarding the poor internet connectivity by releasing a statement elucidating the root cause.

MTN said:

“We apologize for the challenges you may be experiencing with internet speed and accessing data services at the moment.
“This is a result of damage to international undersea cables across East & West Africa. The repair process is ongoing to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Please look out for further updates.”

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Internet outage in North Africa

The most recent disruption occurred following a service interruption experienced by Seacom, a subsea cable operator, on its cable network in the Red Sea.

Seacom announced last week that it was awaiting permission to commence repairs on the damaged underwater cable in the Red Sea.

This sea route is important in telecommunications as a vital link between Europe, Africa, and Asia through Egypt.

The impaired cables are responsible for approximately a quarter of the region's internet traffic, as estimated by HGC Global Communications, a Hong Kong-based internet provider reliant on these cables.

To mitigate the impact of the outage, traffic has been redirected through alternative cable routes, including those along the west coast of Africa.

Nigerian company secures licence to begin telecom services, moves to rival MTN, Airtel, others

Interswitch, a Nigerian digital payment firm, has obtained authorisation to launch telecommunications operations.

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The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) granted the license for N500 million.

Interswitch plans to function as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, utilising the infrastructure of established telecom companies.


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