SingTel battered for service disruption

Singapore cellco SingTel faces a near half million dollar fine for a service disruption in 2011, despite the problems lasting less than a day and no actual outage occurring.
Regulator the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is imposing a $400,000 (€322,328) penalty on the carrier following the problems in September, claiming the intermittent service received by subscribers fails to meet its Service Resiliency Code (SRC). SingTel customers experienced difficulty making and receiving calls, and accessing SMS, MMS and mobile data services.
The IDA issued the fine despite noting that SingTel’s 2G services were available “at all times.” However, the regulator’s investigation found that at least 5% of the cellco’s base stations were affected by the problem, which was caused by a software glitch in new switches being installed in central Singapore. It claims SingTel has not “fulfilled its obligation to provide resilient mobile telephone services,” as required by the SRC.
“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,” an IDA statement explains. The regulator adds that it levied the fine after deciding SingTel’s attempts to fix the problem quickly “were not satisfactory,” despite the mitigating factor of continued 2G service for customers who switched networks.