Mobile Networks Get Disrupted After Massive Earthquake in Pakistan / Afghanistan

After a massive earthquake of 7.7 magnitude earlier this afternoon which lasted well over a minute, mobile phone networks aren’t performing optimally. Right now, we are unable to make/receive any calls in KPK, parts of Punjab, Islamabad and in Northern Areas of Pakistan.

We are getting reports from our readers that they are finding it hard to connect to their loved ones as mobile phone networks are either busy or not responding at all.

When we asked our readers through our Facebook page, majority of respondents said that they aren’t able to make calls. Some readers are in fact reporting wireless internet connectivity issues on their ends.

Mobile phone users are advised to use alternate means of communication including Whatsapp as data services are working better than usual

We are unable to contact any official of mobile phone companies as phones aren’t connecting but an industry expert said that cellular services are probably disrupted due to the sudden hike in traffic. He said that traffic congestion could be the reason behind network slow-down.

Another expert said that as far as we don’t have any reported damage for network infrastructure, it is safe to assume that increased traffic choked the networks. He said that traffic is likely to stabilize with time and so will mobile phone services.

Early reports are claiming that at least 50 individuals are injured in Peshawar while one death has been confirmed by ARY news in Peshawar.

Update:

We were able to speak with officials of mobile phone companies to know that network inaccessibility was mainly due to traffic spike.

Officials said that they are trying to figure out any infrastructure damages in northern areas, however, their network infrastructure in Punjab and KPK remained safe and survived the jolts.

They advised the masses to not to panic and use alternative means of communication, including Whatsapp as data services are working better than usual due to decreased internet traffic.

Update 2

Ufone has confirmed us that their entire network, throughout the country, survived the earthquake jolts and is online. It said that customers may face network issues due to traffic spikes but no infrastructure was damaged during today’s earthquake.

Update 3

Mobile phone services are now back to normal. We are confirmed by telecom companies that voice traffic over cellular networks is better than it was few hours ago and calls are currently connecting well for everyone.

They said that support and technical staff will continue to monitor the situation closely to best deal with any future spikes.

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Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


    • No network can stand against natural calamities…. Quality of network in our country is as per the infrastructure provided :)

    • Quality of Networks is as per international standards. There are many technical reasons due to which we were unable to make/receive any calls. I think no one company in the world can claim 100% connectivity in this situation. I am a part of Mobilink Technology Team and know all this personally.

      • Thanks for Such a Great Explanation.Can u plz tell us what went wrong with 2G Services after earthquake whereas 3G Services worked perfectly?

      • Dear Bro Network bussy problem is something else and Network outage is some thing else.We were facing Network outage problems.3G/4G enable sites with huge cap cant carry such traffic strange.Insted of making argu kindly concentrate on these type of issues.

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  • What PTA is doing thn? if we cant make calls at the time of crisis thn whts the use of having mobiles?

  • Today’s incident certainly was a wake up call for our telecom service providers. Today, including myself, a whole lot of people I know were unable to make or receive calls as the infrastructure could not handle ‘the sudden influx of calls’. In the state of National crisis the telecom infrastructure should not cripple down like it did today. These companies are certainly not prepared for the worst. I could not believe I had to rely on ‘free’ services like Whatsapp and Skype which somehow proved to be more disaster-proof than these cellular services.

    • Any where around the world, telecom services are only provided as per the offered traffic. Capacity enhancement requires investment and any business does enough investment to maintain a required GOS (Grade of Service) which is 2% in case of most operators in pakistan. This means that during busy hour (the hour of the day in which most calls are made) only 2 out of 100 calls can fail congestion. This is a very good metric in any measurement.

      When a natural calamity occurs, every subscriber in the network tries to access the wireless network at the same time. This inturn results in service disruption & there is no where in the world these non-natural traffic surges are accounted for.

        • Nopes not from a customer service manual but from my personal experience. I am working in the technical field in Middle East but have been associated with PK Telecom industry for a long time.

    • So you are comparing performance of telcos during natural disasters with services like whatsapp and skype which are (according to you) disaster-proof because you were able to make calls using your phone’s data connection?

      I’m sorry but your argument stands on a pile of dump.

  • Data services / Whatsapp was working better as compare to GSM. I called my friends & family through whatsapp after this massive earthquake. While Ufone Warid and Mobilink GSM networks was totally down. Location: Rawalpindi

  • warid was not working in comsats lahore everyone who was using warid was unable to call their loved ones


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