M1 locks horns with IDA over $233,000 fine

Melissa Chua
telecomasia.net
Singapore’s M1 and regulator IDA are at odds over a S$300,000 ($232,888) service disruption penalty imposed by the IDA.
 
M1 had been slapped with the fine due to a mobile network outage that occurred 18 May, which led to the carrier’s customers facing difficulties sending and receiving voice, text messages and data.
 
The IDA had imposed the fine on the grounds that M1 had failed to upkeep mobile service resiliency, deeming M1’s efforts at prompt service restoration unsatisfactory.
 
The outage, whose effects reportedly lasted more than 24 hours, had been caused by a faulty hardware card in the carrier’s backend systems, which affected the normal functioning of an M1 database used to pinpoint and update customers’ location in Western Singapore.
 
According to the IDA, the disruption had affected 5% of M1’s base stations but no red flags had been raised in M1’s monitoring system; this led to delays in the carrier’s efforts at isolating and rectifying the issue.
 
An operator is deemed to have breached the country’s telecommunication service resiliency code if 5% or more of its base stations have been affected.
 
M1 has not taken the regulator’s decision lying down. The carrier has disputed the IDA’s assertion that the 5% threshold of affected base stations had been crossed, maintaining none of its base stations had been out of service during the outage. M1 added necessary steps had been taken to ensure service restoration, and said the ‘intermittent’ nature of the problem prolonged the troubleshooting process.
 

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