Telecom towers go offline in Pakistan after power outage

Thousands of telecom towers have gone offline across Pakistan due to a nationwide power cut on Monday impacting mobile services, Reuters news report said.
Smartphone user in FrancePakistan’s national grid suffered a major outage on Monday leaving millions of people without electricity. The disruption has begun hitting the country’s approximately 40,000 telecommunication towers.

If power is not switched back on soon, it could lead to a communications blackout as mobile phone towers run out of backup fuel and batteries.

Service degradation had begun in some parts of the country as some towers went offline.

Some social media users in Pakistan complained of mobile signals disappearing in major cities of the country, including Islamabad.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the country’s telecommunication regulator, warned of outages. “Due to country wide power outage, users may face service disruptions,” PTA said in a news statement.

PTA said mobile operators have been instructed to inform subscribers and to do their utmost to refuel backup power on the maximum number of mobile tower sites.

Global internet monitoring group Netblocks said on Twitter that metrics showed telecommunications in most regions of the country had been impacted by the country-wide power outage and that there had been a significant decline in internet access.

Pakistan has 194 million cellular subscribers and 124 million broadband subscribers, according to PTA.

There are four major telecommunication providers, including Jazz, owned by Netherlands-based Veon, Zong, owned by China Mobile, and Norway-based Telenor.