Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Connectivity

Mobile services disrupted in Eswatini amid protests

Article Image
Mobile users in Eswatini are experiencing connection problems, with reports that the government has forced an Internet shutdown.

On Tuesday Reuters reported that anti-monarchy protests in the country had turned violent.

Eswatini's King Mswati III is Africa's last absolute monarch and sentiments against him have been rising in recent years with citizens calling for democracy and the right to select their own leaders.

Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku on Tuesday ordered a nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. and closed schools with immediate effect, saying it was to minimize unnecessary movement and ensure the safety and security of residents.

MTN would not directly confirm it had been asked to block mobile services but did say MTN Eswatini "is currently experiencing disruption to services and connectivity" which began on June 29, 2021.

"MTN Eswatini will continue engaging with all relevant stakeholders and authorities to mininise and limit the duration," the operator said in an emailed statement to Connecting Africa.

On Tuesday MTN Eswatini said via its Twitter account that it had shut all service centers and outlets in the country until further notice "in the interest of safety" but encouraged customers to make use of self-service offerings on its digital platforms.

"Meeting our customers' needs remain a key priority for us. We are committed to restoring our services and connectivity as soon as possible," said MTN Eswatini CEO Wandile Mtshali.

"As a precaution, we are exploring all necessary measures to ensure the safety [of] our customers, staff and partners. We will monitor the situation and keep our customers updated on all relevant developments," added Mtshali.

MTN is run through a joint venture in Eswatini with MTN Group only owning a 30% stake. At the end of 2020 MTN Eswatini had 990,000 subscribers.

The country's other mobile operator, Eswatini Mobile, did not respond to a request for comment on possible disruption to its services in the country.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Background photo created by natanaelginting - www.freepik.com.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Hot startup of the month: South Africa's Botlhale AI

Connecting Africa's hot startup this month is South Africa's Botlhale AI, which creates conversational AI tools for African languages while helping businesses engage customers in languages they understand and trust.

Story

SA's Teraco to power data centers with 120MW solar plant

Teraco, the vendor-neutral data center provider, is planning the construction of a 120 megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) energy facility in the Free State province of South Africa.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: January 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in January 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included a $200 million fintech deal between MTN and Mastercard as well as 5G network trials by Telecom Egypt – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: September 2023

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in September 2023 in the Middle East and Africa included more 5G spectrum licenses, vendor and operator strategies, and partnerships – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002