Mobile phones switched off

Some mobile phone users were off air for more than 10 hours Keystone

Switzerland's largest telephone company, Swisscom, has promised to compensate its clients for the inconvenience caused by a 10-hour collapse of its mobile network on Friday. The technical failure left around 3.3 million customers unable to make or receive telephone calls.

This content was published on July 28, 2001 - 14:27

The network collapsed shortly after midday and it was not until 10.30pm that normal service was restored to Swisscom customers.

In a statement on Saturday, the company said it would compensate customers by not charging sms messages and mobile calls made on Thursday and Friday. Swisscom also said it would knock off SFr5 from customers' next monthly subscription bill.

A Swisscom spokesman, Sepp Huber, said the financial losses were expected to reach SFr30 million. Huber added that it was difficult to estimate the damage done to the company's image.

Swisscom's website had earlier warned customers that its hotline was being overloaded owing to the large number of calls. As a result, customers were forced to call the information number, 111, and pay for an explanation.

The shutdown, which was blamed on a computer failure in the Lausanne area, was the longest and the biggest in Swisscom's history. The company was forced to call in a team of international experts to get the network up and running again.

swissinfo with agencies

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