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Vodafone: Egypt ordered cell phone service stopped

January 28, 2011

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LONDON—The Egyptian government ordered all mobile telephone operators to suspend services "in selected areas" of the country, telecommunications company Vodafone said Friday.

In a statement, the company said "under Egyptian legislation, the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it."

Britain-based Vodafone Group PLC is one of the largest mobile phone operator in Egypt, with more than 25 million subscribers. It said Egyptian authorities "will be clarifying the situation in due course."

Internet communications in Egypt were also severely disrupted Friday as the government sought to interfere with a day of protests against President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's four primary Internet providers -- Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr -- and all went dark at 12:34 a.m. Those companies shuttle all Internet traffic into and out of Egypt, although many people get their service through additional local providers with different names.