(Adds Vodafone statement)
CAIRO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Mobile phone services started to resume across the Egyptian capital on Saturday, after being shut down a day earlier during unprecedented demonstrations calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
Telecoms operator Vodafone (VOD.L) said it and other mobile operators had no option but to comply with an order from the Egyptian authorities to suspend services in selected areas of the country [ID:nWLA3980].
The move was heavily criticised by rights groups.
“We would like to make it clear that the authorities in Egypt have the technical capability to close our network, and if they had done so it would have taken much longer to restore services to our customers,” a Vodafone spokesman said.
“It has been clear to us that there were no legal or practical options open to Vodafone or any of the mobile operators in Egypt but to comply with the demands of the authorities,” the spokesman said in a statement.
According to a Reuters tally, at least 74 people have been killed in five days of mass demonstrations across Egypt against Mubarak’s 30-year autocratic rule.