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SingTel fined US$313K for 3G outage

Singapore's IT regulator slaps S$400,000 fine on operator for failing to fulfill obligation to customers to provide resilient mobile telephone services on Sep. 6 and 7, 2011.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

SINGAPORE--The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has fined Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) Mobile S$400,000 (US$313,063) for the 3G outage that occurred in September last year after finding the operator in breach of the country's Service Resiliency Code.

In a statement issued Wednesday, IDA stated the 2011 incident, which spanned Sep. 6 and 7, caused some of SingTel Mobile's subscribers in the central region of the city-state to experience intermittent difficulties in making and receiving calls and accessing SMS, MMS, and mobile data services via its 3G network.

Investigations showed the disruption was caused by a software glitch in new switches the company was progressively installing in that particular region in Singapore, IDA stated. The glitch affected the normal routing of data packets in the network, and mobile services in the area were disrupted intermittently for a total of 22 hours. More than 5 percent of the telco's base stations were affected.

"Given the serious impact of the service disruption, IDA has decided to impose a financial penalty of S$400,000 (US$313,063) on SingTel for its contravention of the Service Resiliency Code. IDA deemed SingTel Mobile's efforts to identify the fault and restore the affected services expeditiously were not satisfactory and that it could have potentially shortened the duration of the service disruption," the local regulator revealed.

IDA added it took a serious view of telecom service disruptions and service providers were required to continually improve the resiliency of their networks to ensure reliable telecom services in Singapore for consumers and businesses.

SingTel Mobile's rival M1 was also fined in November 2011 for similar service disruptions, but the penalty was lower at S$300,000 (US$232,320).

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