IDA investigates SingTel service disruptions

Kai Fong
Yahoo! Newsroom5 January 2012

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said it has started a “thorough” investigation into SingTel service outages, which happened twice in the past two days, and will take appropriate action where necessary.

“Under the Code (of Practice for Telecommunication Service Resiliency), IDA can impose a penalty on operators if IDA finds them in breach of the Code,” said its spokesperson.

Customers of SingTel’s mobile services experienced problems with the network in parts of Singapore on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

In its statement issued on Wednesday, the telco said that the disruptions were “unrelated” and have been fully resolved.

“Due to the intermittent nature of the incidents which affected only some parts of the island, it is hard to ascertain the exact number of customers impacted,” added a SingTel spokesperson.

Those affected on Tuesday encountered problems with 3G voice, SMS and mobile internet services.

The disruption, which lasted more than four hours in northern and western areas, was traced to a hardware fault. The affected equipment has since been replaced.

A second outage on Wednesday morning lasted more than three hours and caused some 3G users to face difficulty in accessing the internet.

SingTel blamed it on “a software issue in the mobile Internet data network serving the western part of Singapore”.

During both incidents, the telco updated customers through its hotline and recorded messages.

SingTel also posted four updates on the its Facebook page since Tuesday night, which drew some 1,300 comments from annoyed customers.

Said Facebook user Esmond Teo, “3G isn't stable at times and SingTel is presenting 4G LTE to its consumers? Why am I paying for this kind of service?”

“Seems like they dont give a damn about what we r paying for.. Still nvr even bother to update us!” added Yuko Nakajima in the comment thread.

Earlier, some users had suggested the telco send an SMS update to its subscribers instead of posting updates online.

SingTel suffered a similar technical glitch last September.

The other two telcos – StarHub and M1 – have also experienced service breakdowns in the past year.

Last November, IDA fined M1 S$300,000 for its service disruption in May which affected users who were unable to make phone calls or send SMSes.