Many customers of Norway’s largest telecoms firm, Telenor, were without mobile phone coverage along the west coast on Tuesday. Lightning and strong winds that struck Vestlandet and parts of Sørlandet damaged both Telenor’s infrastructure and equipment.
Some areas were also without coverage because of power cuts to Telenor’s mobile stations, Telenor itself announced in a press release Tuesday afternoon. “This means that our customers must wait longer than normal before the problems can be corrected,” said Jørg Thaule, a Telenor spokesman.
Thaule told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that it may take several hours or even days before mobile phone service can be fully restored. The disruption comes just as the Christmas holidays were beginning, a time when it’s become popular for Norwegians to exchange text greetings on their mobile phones in addition to calling.
Telenor, which has been plagued by service disruptions recently, claimed it had introduced several measures to improve service. Officials promised that life and health will be a priority.
At least 1,550 errors were registered among private customers and businesses in the counties of Hordaland and Rogaland alone on Tuesday. Telenor ordered “extraordinary mobilization” of its resources to address and fix the errors.
The island of Karmøy was hit hard as was Bergen, Lindås, Askøy, Vindafjord, Sandnes and Tysvær. There were also mobile phone coverage problems in Stavanger, Hjelmeland and many other communities in western Norway.