Airtel network disrupted for 20 hours
A large number of subscribers of Airtel in Dhaka and 10 other districts faced network disruption for around 20 hours from 8:53pm Tuesday because of a technical glitch at its switches.
The carrier said the network was restored around 6:30pm yesterday and subscribers who did not have signal bars were back online.
In a statement, Airtel said they were deeply sorry for the unintended inconvenience caused to the customers. It sent texts to their customers apologising.
The glitches, however, had no connection with the deadline of biometric SIM re-registration, said the fourth-largest operator.
Some 1,000 stations of the carrier in Dhaka and some other districts faced the disruption.
Customers in Dhaka, Comilla, Chandpur, Noakhali, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Munshiganj, Narsingdi, Manikganj and Narayanganj were badly affected following the network disruption, according to an Airtel letter to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
The disruption affected 40 percent of Airtel's 2G and 3G network, according to the letter.
Thinking that the network disruption was a consequence of the expiration of deadline for the biometric SIM re-registration that coincidentally ended on Tuesday, subscribers became agitated.
Some Airtel subscribers also staged a demonstration in front of its Dhanmondi office around 10:30am.
They later left the scene following assurance from Airtel officials and police.
A subscriber, Rafiul Islam, told The Daily Star that he became worried after his mobile phone set displayed the sign of “no network coverage” around 6:30am.
“I wondered why my Airtel SIM has been blocked even though it is biometrically verified,” he said.
Meanwhile, subscribers of different carriers complained that some SIMs were blocked even after going through the re-registration process, while some have had their connections still alive even though those had not been re-registered.
BTRC officials said as the issue was a technical one, it would take a while for everything to get normal.