The Hong Kong Communication Authority has imposed a penalty of HK$130, 000 ($16,764) on SmarTone for a network outage on April 9.
The outage was caused by a power disruption in one of the operators’ switch centers, which led to a wide extensive of service disruption, covering voice services, SMS and data services. About 25% of SmarTone’s mobile sites were disrupted, affecting 243,000 users or 22% of the operator’s active customers during the six-hour service disruption.
The regulator made a number of recommendations for improvements, including a review of the backup power supply system, develop reliable drill tests and preventive procedures to forestall possible faults of the whole power supply systems, develop and implement effective internal control procedures to ensure compliance by its staff, and develop and implement effective procedures to ensure that its customers and the public will be notified timely of network outage.
In a response, SmarTone apologized to its customers and said it has taken appropriate actions to improve its communication procedures, and further enhancements are underway to bring its backup power system to a higher standard.
“We are further enhancing our backup power supply systems, which conform to industry standards, with an additional layer of protection capable of totally isolating the generator system in the event of any unusual behavior or malfunction,” the operator said in a statement.