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WhatsApp restores operations after temporary suspension on Saturday

Web-based smartphone application WhatsApp restarted operations after four hours suspension for technical reasons

Ahram Online, Sunday 8 Dec 2013
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Views: 6656
Instant messaging service WhatsApp service has been fully restored after a temporary suspension for four hours on Saturday, according to the official twitter account for WhatsApp.
 
The web-based smartphone application experienced outage at around 22:00 GMT which lasted until around 02:00 GMT the next day.
 
"Our system is currently experiencing an outage. We are working on it and hope to have it repaired shortly," tweeted WhatsApp at around 22:00 GMT.
 
WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum reportedly announced the instant messaging service reached 350 million monthly active users in November, up by 50 million since August, when the network announced it had hit 300 million.
 
Saudi Arabia and Egypt have threatened to ban WhatsApp, which allows users to send and receive messages internationally free-of-charge, along with other similar applications like Viber and Skype, as officials from both countries have articulated concerns for national security and telecom companies.
 
In June, the then-head of Egypt's National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Amr Badawy told Ahram Online that a committee had been formed to monitor mobile applications to decide whether to ban them, allow their users free usage or restrict them somehow.
 
Badawy cited both security and financial concerns as being behind the initiative. "These applications allow subscribers to make free calls, messages and share files while their sources remain unknown. Pre-paid applications will face losses," he explained.
 
In June, Saudi Arabia threatened to ban Whatsapp like it did a week earlier with Viber for non-compliance.
 
The mobile penetration rate in Egypt is 116 percent, with around 94 million subscriptions. The rate stood at 175.8% percent at the end of 2013 in Saudi Arabia, according to the country's Communications and Information Technology Commision.
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