Vodafone’s cellular network in Mumbai was down for several hours today in many parts of the city, according to reports from affected customers.
“It looks like the problem has affected people between Ghatkopar to Thane,” said a Vodafone customer from Ghatkopar. “At least, that’s what I can tell from reports on the WhatsApp groups I am part of.”
The network outage seems to have taken place in the evening, and many people still complained of problems as late as 9 PM.
A Vodafone Idea spokesperson confirmed the outage, but did not get into the reasons for the same.
“Due to unforeseen occurrences, there was a temporary disruption in services in parts of Mumbai today,” she said, adding that the services were restored quickly.
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Even though Vodafone Idea did not go into the reasons for the outage, it is believed that it is related to efforts to synchronize and merge the networks of Vodafone and Idea.
Vodafone, formerly India’s second biggest telecom operator, and Idea Cellular, the former No.3, merged six months ago to create India’s biggest telecom operator by number of subscribers.
The merged entity has been trying to pool the networks together in an effort to leverage higher scale and greater network depth to offer higher speeds and broader coverage.
The company had, a month ago, said it would try to avoid disruptions when the process would be carried out.
It also said that the merger of the network would start from low-usage areas, such as rural locations, and proceed to congested areas like South Mumbai and Central Delhi only by the end of 2020.
However, the company also added that it would try to sync the two networks in ‘clusters’ starting from the outskirts of the big cities well before that.
The company has already increased its network capacity in most locations across India by merging its network or using internal roaming on Idea 4G network.