Although this is a Canadian registered domain, I am spending my vacation in Malaysia so I will be posting bits of Malaysian news as well.
As of 2am today, June 30th, 2008, Maxis, one of Malaysia's biggest telecomunications providers, have absolutely no working cell towers in the state of Sabah on the island of Borneo. I woke up this morning and found the signal indicator on my phone blank, thinking it was a phone problems (Windows Mobile can be sometimes snarky), I shrugged it off, until I found out others had the same problem. It is now 7:20PM and there is still no sign of coverage returning. Only later in the day did Maxis post a notice on their website informing customers that "Subscribers in Sabah may have trouble making calls or receiving SMS'. That's putting it rather mildly since there is no connection at all.
I shudder to think of the wide-ranging repercussions this could have all around the state; delivery drivers would not be able to call to confirm location, sales agents would not be able to reach their customers, relatives and friends running chores or errands would have no way to keep in touch. It seems we have become so accustomed to the ability to call anyone, anywhere that we have taken it for granted. It was back to the old "meet here at so and so time" method again, and hoping that nobody gets lost.
It doesn't seem like a hardware problem, say, a cell tower going offline, but some sort of wider hardware outage, or software problem since it seems to be affecting every cell tower in the state.
Hopefully they will have this fixed by tomorrow...and issue credit for today's outage (though I doubt that).
Update 7/1/2008, 7:28AM: Seems to be back up, not sure exactly when it was fixed, but when I woke up this morning, I got the full five bar reception icon.
Update 7/1/2008, 8:20PM: Well, only semi-right. The notice on the website says that "Subscribers in Sabah may now make calls and send/receive SMSs, however, some may have trouble connecting". Again, them being the master of the understatement. Sure, it works, if you dial from your Maxis number (starting with 017 or 012), to another telco, say Celcom (019), the call gets through, BUT if you dial from a 012 number TO a 012 number, meaning within the same network, it just ends with a beep. Who'd think it? Masters of understatement AND irony! Will keep you all posted.