Telenor drops charges after outage

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Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor is still trying to make amends to angry customers after its mobile telephone network suffered a severe outage that started on Friday. It announced Tuesday that no Telenor customers will be charged for phone usage during the long pinse holiday weekend.

Telenor’s trouble began early Friday afternoon when it suddenly became difficult to either send text messages or use the phone. The massive, system-wide failure occurred just when large areas of southern Norway were being hit by torrential rains and flooding, causing other problems that made mobile telephone communication even more important than normal.

Instead, homeowners and motorists stranded by mudslides and rising floodwaters couldn’t call for help, and Telenor didn’t manage to find the source of the problem for many hours.

It was finally traced to an error in the data network but the actual cause was still unclear on Tuesday. Government officials were demanding an investigation into the trouble, not least with an eye to trying to prevent it from happening again. The problem also interrupted Internet service.

Telenor called the breakdown the most serious since its mobile network was launched in 1993. Telenor officials apologized profusely. They were due to deliver a report on the incident to state officials by Thursday.

Views and News staff