After several suspensions of landline services, Egypt Telecom media office spokesperson Mohamed Azab told Daily News Egypt there is nationwide replacement of fibre cables to copper ones, as part of a technical upgrade to provide faster internet connections.
There was a wave of recent outrage from residents of the Hadayek Maadi neighbourhood due to the interruption of landline services over several months. It is a crowded area which houses a number of shops and small companies.
Azab promised that the service will return on Wednesday. “There was some trouble in the cabins [connection hubs in each building],” said Azab.
“I sent many complaints and got no replies,” shouted Hanan Mohamed, a 40 year-old woman living in Hadayek Maadi.
Mohamed said the interruption dates back to April 2014. The service returned for a while but was soon suspended again.
“When I picked up the phone to make a call, I found the line was broken. I called 111 which is an emergency line, and there was just a recorded message saying: ‘there is a massive breakdown’. I redialled and a customer service employee answered. When I told him my problem he switched the call to a recorded message again.”
She added: “There was no phone service during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr. The service returned for a few days, then was suspended again. I barely made any calls, yet I paid my EGP 150 August bill.”
Nouran Osman, a 24 year-old local resident, said that the landline services break down every 10 days and last from one week to a month. Her father complained several times and customer service said they would investigate, but nothing happened.
“No landline means no internet, so you can imagine how crippling it is to stay with no internet services for weeks or maybe a month,” Osman said.
Osman’s family eventually gave up and replaced the landline with more costly cell phones.
Echoing Osman’s concerns, an owner of a small pizza shop who preferred to remain anonymous expressed frustration towards the ongoing service suspensions, especially as his business mainly depends on takeaway orders made via landlines.