SingTel Mobile fined for service disruption
The telco will pay $400,000 for insufficient efforts to restore full service during a two-day signal difficulty in 2011.
The Infocomm Development Authority imposed the fine after it found that SingTel Mobile breached the Code of Practice Telecommunication Service Resiliency when it investigated the disruption of STM’s 3G mobile services on 6 and 7 September 2011.
"The service disruption caused some of STM’s mobile subscribers in the central region of Singapore, including Orchard, Tanglin and Telok Blangah, to experience intermittent difficulties in making and receiving calls and accessing SMS, MMS and mobile data services via STM’s 3G network. At all times, 2G services were available," IDA recounted of last year's disruption.
"Investigations showed that the service disruption was caused by a software glitch in the new switches that were progressively being installed by STM in the central region of Singapore to upgrade its network. The software glitch affected the normal routing of data packets in the network, and mobile services in the central area were intermittently disrupted over three periods between 6 and 7 September causing a total of 22 hours of service disruption. More than 5 per cent of STM’s base stations were affected," said IDA.
"Given the serious impact of the service disruption, IDA has decided to impose a financial penalty of $400,000 on STM for its contravention of the Service Resiliency Code. IDA deemed that STM’s efforts to identify the fault and restore the affected services expeditiously were not satisfactory and that STM could have potentially shortened the duration of the service disruption. In its decision, IDA also considered mitigating factors such as the fact that STM’s 2G network was not affected during the service disruption and that end users who switched to STM’s 2G network were still able to use their mobile services," it added.
The $400,000 fine is a middling amount to the full penalty prescribed under the contravention of the Service Resiliency Code, which can reach up to up to $1 million or 10% of the annual turnover of a licensee, whichever is higher.
"IDA takes a serious view of telecom service disruptions. Telecommunication service providers are required to continually improve the resiliency of their networks, in order to ensure that they will strive to always provide reliable telecom services in Singapore for consumers and businesses," said IDA.