Vodafone says text messages still down in Egypt | world | Hindustan Times
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Vodafone says text messages still down in Egypt

world Updated: Feb 03, 2011 16:03 IST

Mobile phone operator Vodafone said on Thursday that text message services were still down in Egypt and that its network was struggling due to a lack of power and possible damage to its equipment.

Telecoms carrier Vodafone, the world's biggest mobile operator by revenue, was told to switch off its network in Egypt by the government last week after protests broke out calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao told reporters on Thursday that voice calls had been switched off for 24 hours, that data services which allow consumers to access the Internet had been switched back on on Wednesday, but that text messages were still down.

"It is not in our power," Colao said, adding that they were lobbying the government to resume services.

"It will be restored when we are authorised. We are in a continuous dialogue with government on keeping our services up. But this is a country that still has a curfew in place."

Colao said the group was also having problems with parts of its network, because it was difficult for its engineers to travel around parts of the country, and because several antennas were not working.

"We know how many are down but we don't know whether they're damaged yet, because if you don't have fuel or if they're in areas where there's no electricity, you don't know if it's damaged or just not running," he said.

Rights groups have heavily criticised mobile operators for switching off their network, but Vodafone said it had had no choice and had to put the safety of its staff above all other requirements.