Many users of the Japanese number 2 mobile provider KDDI Corp. were still having trouble calling on Monday after a massive outage over the weekend that affected nearly 40 million people, disrupting deliveries, weather reports and other services across the country.
The company said: data transfer was mostly restored by Monday morning, but service limitations still caused many users to have problems making calls and sending short messages.
The outage began in the early hours of Saturday during scheduled maintenance at a factory in western Tokyo.
It disabled texting, phone calls and other services for more than 39 million users of KDDI’s mobile services. Parcel delivery was also disrupted.
Over the weekend, the Meteorological Agency was unable to transmit weather data at hundreds of stations, dozens of ATMs in central Japan were shut down and Tokyo and other municipalities struggled to reach COVID-19 patients subject to health monitoring at home.
The major outage came just before the July 10 parliamentary elections and was seen as an embarrassment to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government, which is promoting the digitization of the world’s No. 3 economy.
The government was quick public care above the problem.
“It is extremely regrettable that mobile telephony, a crucial infrastructure for social and economic activityhas been unusable for so long,” Deputy Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara told reporters on Monday.
He said the government was taking the situation “seriously” and urged KDDI to provide a thorough explanation. Kihara said he expected KDDI to “sincerely” consider compensation for potential user damages claims.
On Sunday, KDDI President Makoto Takahashi apologized and gave an initial explanation of what happened and prospects for the disrupted services to resume.
“We consider this a serious incident,” Interior and Communications Minister Yasushi Kaneko said on Sunday. The outage was especially unfortunate because it was disrupted emergency calls at a time when people were facing an increased risk of COVID-19 and heat stroke and potential emergencies due to an approaching typhoon.
An outage last year by competitor NTT DoCoMo affected nearly 13 million people.
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