Repair work to the damaged Mediterranean Sea cable, which has caused internet problems in the UAE, will affect services until at least Friday.
And while UAE telecoms giant Etisalat has said it expects the work to be completed by April 30, a leading analyst has estimated a complete restoration of service could take until late on Sunday May 2.
The work was originally scheduled to be completed on April 20, according to rival telco du. A second deadline was set for April 27, however the Etisalat confirmed a new delay due to bad weather.
"The management committee of the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable which suffered damage in the Mediterranean Sea last week, has updated its customers on the status of repairs," UAE-telecoms giant Etisalat said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The cable ship tasked with repairing the cable arrived on April 24 and started the repair process on April 25," the statement continued. "A delay was experienced in this process caused by bad weather. It is now expected that the repairs will be completed on April 30 and Internet normalisation within the UAE will be seen immediately afterwards."
However Graham Nonweiler, group managing director of global telecoms specialists Nonweiler Associates, which monitors global internet cable connectivity around the world, said that "the current best estimate for complete restoration of normal service on SMW4 is late afternoon UAE time Sunday 2nd May."
Nonweiler added that when repairs started on Sunday April 25 the entire European section of the cable, from Egypt to France, was switched off and "this is why connectivity in the UAE took a nosedive on Sunday afternoon and has progressively got worse since then".
He added that at present "Etisalat's broadband customers are being routed Eastwards across the Pacific in to the US, and onwards to Europe as needed. This has placed additional loading on those routes, so they too are now saturated."
Etisalat's statement added that it "is continuously monitoring the situation and has provisioned more capacity across different cable systems to compensate for the lost cable fibers".