ABU DHABI // Etisalat apologised yesterday for network glitches that left thousands of customers without reliable mobile phone connections. Users in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah reported being unable to make or receive calls and text messages, with some saying the problem had lasted for days. Many office workers spoke of missed phone meetings and cancelled appointments due to mobile lines that were inaccessible.
The problem was especially acute at the Cityscape property fair in Dubai, where thousands of those attending struggled to schedule meetings or even find each other with no reliable means of communication. "I tried to arrange a few meetings this morning at Cityscape but couldn't get through to anybody," said Robert Johnson, a property agent from the UK. "I didn't think anything of it until I spoke to a few people later on who said they had the same problems."
Some said the disruptions affected their mobile e-mail service more seriously than phone calls.
Etisalat blamed the problems on a network upgrade to improve the company's mobile internet system. It apologised for a "brief mobile service disruption that was caused by scheduled software upgrades", and said the problems had been resolved.