Home & Office

Singapore government fines Consistel $223K for falsifying documents

Systems integrator was fined S$300,000 (US$223,077) for breaching conditions in its licence to build and operate the telecommunications systems at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Singapore's industry regulator has slapped Consistel with a S$300,000 (US$223,077) fine for violating conditions stated in its telecommunications licence and filed a police report regarding the breach.

Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) had licensed the local systems integrator to build, operate, and maintain the wireless network implemented at Singapore Sports Hub.

Under the agreement, IDA's approval was required before Consistel could transfer antenna operations to a third-party. According to the regulator, the latter had failed to do so when it moved operations to Sprint, which was owned by Consistel's parent company Asia Networks.

Consistel in October 2013 agreed to sell the system to Consistel Sprint, which was a joint venture formed by its parent company and investor Asia Networks, but applied for IDA's approval only in June 2014.

In a briefing with local media Monday, IDA added that it was notified in January this year that Consistel's application for approval contained false information. The vendor had "deliberately" failed to provide the required signed agreements and, instead, delivered a draft document that had "no genuine commercial purpose". This led IDA to grant "in-principal approval" based on the false information.

The vendor's actions breached two of its license conditions, IDA said, pointing to Consistel's failure to obtain written approval for the system transfer as well as to provide accurate and complete documents.

IDA's director-general of telecoms and post, Aileen Chia, described the violation as a "very serious offence" and noted that a police report had been made to determine if further action was required.

"IDA takes the position that Consistel's actions constitute grave misconduct by a licensee. In fact, this is the most serious instance of misconduct that has been brought to IDA's attention thus far," the industry regulator said.

Due to the breach, the transfer to Sprint had been annulled and then sports hub's distributed antenna system remained under the responsibility of Consistel, Chia said. She added that future applications for an ownership transfer would still be considered, and approved, if the right procedures had been observed.

According to the country's Telecommunications Act, Consistel had two possible channels for recourse--either requesting IDA to reconsider its enforcement decision or submitting an appeal with the minister. It would need to do so within 14 days.

Consistel previously said it was considering bidding for Singapore's fourth telco license.

Editorial standards