Home » Banks, telecoms hit with internet failure as undersea cables damaged

Banks, telecoms hit with internet failure as undersea cables damaged

by Maryam Olaniyi
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Telecommunications companies and banks in Nigeria have been hit by an internet outage as a result of damage to international undersea cables supplying them with connectivity.

It was gathered that the damage affected major undersea cables near Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and is causing downtime across West and South African countries.

The West Africa Cable System (WACS), the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), MainOne, and SAT3 cables are affected by the damag.

In Nigeria, some bank networks were affected and unable to process transactions as a result of the internet outage. Telecom subscribers have also been complaining of poor data experience since Thursday morning.

According to reports from local media, the cable damage has also caused a massive internet problem in South Africa.

South African publication, My Broadband reported that WIOCC group business development head Darren Bedford confirmed that multiple undersea cables operating along Africa’s West coast are experiencing outages.


The issue is said to be causing downtime across West and South African countries, affecting telecommunications network as well as banks in Nigeria.
In a notice to customers on Thursday, Sterling Bank apologised to customers over the effect of the network disruption affecting transactions.
“We are aware that you may be experiencing difficulties trying to transfer funds, reach our customer care team, or transact via USSD and genuinely apologize for the effect of this on your day,” Sterling Bank said.
“We are fully committed to providing the best service and are working tirelessly to resolve this issue. You have our promise to notify you as soon as it has been fixed.”
Speaking with the president, Association of Corporate and Marketing Communications Professionals of Banks in Nigeria (ACAMB), Rasheed Bolarinwa said the situation impacted connectivity across many banks.
“Yes, it did impact connectivity across a substantial number, if not virtually all the Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria as banking operations were substantially affected for most parts of today,” Bolarinwa said.
Bolarinwa said substantial progress is being recorded in gradual resolution of the glitch.
MTN Group, Africa’s largest telecommunications provider, also said its services in several West African countries have been disrupted.
In a statement on Thursday, the telco giant said the ongoing disconnection experienced by its customers is due to breaks in multiple major undersea cables.
On February 22, 2024, Bayobab, a pan-African digital connectivity, partnered with MTN Nigeria to land a 45,000km subsea cable in the country.
The cable known as ‘2Africa,’ has its landing station at Mopo-Onibeju Lekki area of Lagos and in Qua Iboe, Akwa Ibom.
2Africa is said to be the longest underwater cable in the world, passing through three continents and 33 countries, several of which are in Africa.
Speaking further, MTN said efforts are being made to resolve the disruption.
“Recognising the critical importance of consistent internet and communication services, we are fully committed to swiftly addressing these disruptions,” MTN said.
“To mitigate the impact on our customers in the affected countries, our operations are actively working to reroute traffic through alternative network paths and engaging with our consortium partners to expedite the repair process for the damaged cables.
“Leveraging our robust and resilient network infrastructure, we aim to minimise service interruptions and maintain connectivity.
“We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work diligently to resolve this situation.”
In another statement, MTN Nigeria said the network disruption is due to damage to international undersea cables across East and West Africa.


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