THE WRAP: Weekend outages, your own private govt network

John C. Tanner
13 Jan 2012

It was the week that saw services disruptions in the Philippines and Thailand, while the Indian government considered building its own private telecoms network, and China Telecom came closer to getting its CDMA1x iPhone approved.

The week got off to a rocky start for incumbent Philippines telco PLDT and its mobile subsidiary Smart Communications after two cable breaks over the weekend caused service disruptions in four cities. The breaks caused outages to mobile and DSL services for most of Saturday before the cables were repaired.

In Thailand, second-ranked telco DTAC was also on the ropes over service disruptions with three major outages in as many weeks, including one on Sunday in which two redundant cables were severed.

DTAC CEO Jon Eddy Abdullah apologized for the outages, but chalked up the latest outages to bad luck rather than mismanagement, incompetence or sabotage. Considering Sunday’s cable breaks were caused by separate incidents – one caused by a car crash, the other by a bush fire – within two minutes of each other, he had a point.

In India this week, the DoT proposed building a secure government-only telecoms network to prevent classified messages from being stored in overseas servers.

The proposed 4.5 billion rupees ($85.5 million) government-only secure voice and data network would provide services including email, VoIP and mobile services, and allow governmental data traffic – to include classified emails – to stay onshore rather than be routed via servers in countries where local government agencies could potentially intercept them (which is in no way ironic).

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