M1 fined a record $1.5m for service disruption in January

Telco M1 has been fined $1.5 million for a service outage in January that lasted 64 hours, the worst mobile network failure Singapore has experienced to date. -- FILE PHOTO: M1
Telco M1 has been fined $1.5 million for a service outage in January that lasted 64 hours, the worst mobile network failure Singapore has experienced to date. -- FILE PHOTO: M1

Telco M1 has been fined $1.5 million for a service outage in January that lasted 64 hours, the worst mobile network failure Singapore has experienced to date. This is the highest fine ever imposed on a telco.

In a statement Thursday, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said that it found M1 "had not fulfilled its obligation to provide resilient mobile telephone services". The regulator found that some 250,000 M1 users were affected.

Affected 3G services were confined in the south-western parts of Singapore (West Coast, Jurong and Tuas) and 2G services in the north-western parts of Singapore (Woodlands, Yishun and Kranji).

M1's mobile disruption started on Jan 15 when one of its vendors was upgrading transmission equipment at its network headquarters in the International Business Park. This caused a power problem which set off gas suppression and water sprinkler systems. One of the telco's mobile network switches then tripped, causing the outage.

M1 had to reconnect hundreds of base stations - which receive and transmit mobile phone signals - to another existing switch before fully restoring its service.

M1's last major service disruption in May 2011 lasted 14 hours - earning it a $300,000 fine from the IDA. SingTel was fined $400,000 after its services went down for 22 hours in September the same year.