The mobile phone network of telecom major Airtel remained partially dysfunctional in Chandigarh and nearby areas for about three hours before coming back on after 11.30pm on Friday night.
While some of the numbers worked, many could not be contacted, with the interactive voice response (IVR) system saying, ‘This number does not exist’, even for numbers that were functional just before the outage. Some numbers simply could not be connected, while internet services on some worked fine.
Call-dropping has been a problem over the past two years for several networks but such an outage caught people unawares. It could not be independently known as to what was the geographical extent of the problem.
During the outage, Mayank Kala, a hotel management student residing in a paying guest accommodation in Sector 42, said, “I am unable to connect with my family and friends in Dehradun. They must be calling me and be anxious.” Yogesh Bhagel, a resident of Sector 15, said that though he couldn’t call anyone but his internet services were active.
Meanwhile, an Airtel official based in the IT Park had said, “It’s temporary outage. Our network team is already working to restore it.”