Consistel fined $300,000 for not getting approval from IDA for deal, falsifying info

Consistel has been fined for providing false information and not seeking approval from the local authorities for the sale of the Sports Hub system.
Consistel has been fined for providing false information and not seeking approval from the local authorities for the sale of the Sports Hub system. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Local firm Consistel, which owns the telecom systems at Sports Hub, has been fined $300,000 for providing false information and not seeking approval from the local authorities prior to the sale of the Sports Hub system.

Consistel has an exclusive deal with Sports Hub to build and host its wireless systems, including 3G and 4G equipment. Consistel then leases the use of this equipment to the mobile operators.

In October 2013, Consistel entered into an agreement to sell the system to Consistel Sprint, its parent company's joint venture with its investor Asia Networks. But it only applied for approval from the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) in June 2014.

Its application also contained false documents, said IDA.

Issuing a stern warning on Monday (Aug 15), Ms Aileen Chia, IDA director-general of Telecoms & Post, said: "Taking into account all relevant factors, IDA takes the position that Consistel's actions constitute grave misconduct by a licensee."

She noted that this is "the most serious instance of misconduct that has been brought to IDA's attention thus far", adding that it may affect Consistel's bid for the fourth telco licence in Singapore.

Moreover, the Consistel-owned system at Sports Hub is critical to connectivity throughout the 35ha facility, including event venue and retail spaces. Ms Chia described Sports Hub as "a building of national significance".

The authority said the fine is meant as a strong deterrent to Consistel and the industry, and a reminder that they should act with "integrity, honesty and transparency" in all their dealings with IDA.

The police are also investigating Consistel for falsifying information.