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15 July 2011

ICASA investigates Vodacom network outage

ICASA to examine Vodacom’s Disaster Recovery Plan to determine its capability in mitigating similar risks in future

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) met with Vodacom on 8 July 2011 to discuss the network outage the operator experienced on 30 June 2011.

Vodacom was represented by CEO Pieter Uys and Nkateko Nyoka, Vodacom’s Group Regulatory Affairs Executive, while ICASA was represented by its chairperson Stephen Mncube and three other councilors.

This meeting followed an announcement by ICASA that it will require Vodacom to account for the network outage, and to outline the necessary steps it has taken to prevent a similar “blackout” in future.

According to ICASA, Uys “explained the source of the network outage, its effect on its subscribers and alerting them about the problem, and how the operator went about to restore the network to full capacity”.

ICASA responded by saying that it would like to examine Vodacom’s Disaster Recovery Plan to determine its capability in mitigating similar risks in future.

ICASA further accepted an invitation by Vodacom to conduct site visits of the affected Doornfontein and Braamfontein base stations.

ICASA advised Vodacom to provide a written account that details the network outage for the Council’s consideration and deliberation.

Vodacom was asked for comment about their meeting with ICASA, but the company did not respond to requests for information.

- MyBroadband

SAWDIS: This will not be the first or last outage of cellphone networks in South Africa. The SAWDIS is currently testing Digital Software that will be used in emergency situations when cellphone networks are down. The SAWDIS will soon release more information pertaining to this software.