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Internet Blackout in Sudan: Two Months After, Telcos Struggle to Restore Mobile Coverage

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Sudan is gradually recovering from a communications crisis, with mobile network operators still having difficulties bringing back full coverage even two months after a deadly internet shutdown.

Internet Blackout in Sudan: Two Months After, Telcos Struggle to Restore Mobile Coverage

The blackout, which caused almost 49 million people to live in a near-info vacuum, was an immediate outcome of the ongoing conflict between military and paramilitary forces.

The Impact of Blackout on Sudanese Citizens

The intensity of the conflicts has affected key infrastructure systems such as cell towers and power supply, leading to the complete breakdown of internet service and a significant drop in mobile network performance.

The lack of communication channels made worse an already existing humanitarian crisis, where people could not connect with family members, access necessary information or even do business.

There is a slight trend towards recovery but still, there are signs of a gradual comeback.

Local operators like Sudatel (the country’s second-largest carrier) and Zain have partially succeeded in restoring the services.

However, complete functional recovery remains an enigma.

Voice and data connectivity currently have inconsistencies, hence creating frustration for the Sudanese citizens who rely on mobile communication.

Telecom Providers Facing Difficulties

The magnitude of the destruction is great. Telecom providers are currently struggling with a large amount of damage that was done during the conflict.

It is difficult to fully regain control over their networks; this is both time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Making things even worse is the condition of the electrical grid.

Steady power supply is needed to keep cell towers running and ensure uninterrupted service.

Without fixing the grid, it is likely that mobile network stability will remain unstable at best.

Read More: War-torn Sudan Turns to Starlink to Beat Internet Disruptions

Starlink, an unlikely character, has joined the game in this crisis. Despite not having a legal permit to operate in Sudan, Elon Musk’s satellite internet service, Starlink, has been a lifeline for many Sudanese, including the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Starlink’s feature of being able to provide internet access even when there is no terrestrial infrastructure proved helpful during the blackout.

This particular incident reveals how fragile Sudan’s communication infrastructure can be and how susceptible it is to conflict.

The internet shutdown was a brutal reminder of the importance of telecommunications in today’s world.

It helps with communication, it boosts economic activities and provides access to life saving information.

The Significance of Strengthening Sudan’s Communication Infrastructure

Sudanese government is now in a tough spot of not only getting back to full mobile coverage but also enhancing country’s communication infrastructure to avoid such incidents in the future.

This will entail substantial investment in network modernization, improved redundancy measures, and enhanced cooperation with telecom operators.

The Journey Back to Normalcy for Sudan’s Telecommunication Sector

The way back will be tough and long.

But for the people of Sudan who wish to have a normal life and reliable communication, every cell tower that gets connected or a network signal that gets stabilized is a step towards a brighter future.

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Oluchukwu Ikemefuna
Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

Oluchukwu Blessing Ikemefuna, a talented content writer from Anambra, Nigeria, found her writing passion in secondary school. Holding a degree in Biological Sciences from Federal University of Technology, Owerri, she specializes in blog writing across technology, finance, healthcare, education, and lifestyle sectors. With strong research and SEO skills, Oluchukwu creates engaging content globally. Her work aims to inspire and engage authentically while driving action. Outside work, she enjoys travel, reading, and movies as she grows as a skilled writer.

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