Forum: IMDA reviewing resilience of telcos' systems

We refer to Straits Times tech editor Irene Tham's commentary (Redundancy should not be an afterthought for the telcos, May 19).

Telecommunications network operators, as part of network and service resilience requirements, must provide adequate redundancy, backups and diversity arrangements within their networks, and pay close attention to their network maintenance and upgrading capabilities and processes.

In the event of a service disruption, telcos are expected to take prompt recovery measures to minimise impact on users, along with clear communications to keep the users informed.

As part of ongoing investigations into the recent incidents, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is scrutinising StarHub and M1's compliance with such measures, and examining if these need to be enhanced.

This includes how telecoms network operators carry out network upgrades to minimise the risk of service disruptions, and the sufficiency of backups.

Operators looking into diverse fibre connections for household broadband services, as Ms Tham suggested, will help to address only some of these disruptions. Besides, this option is costly and consumers would end up footing the cost.

IMDA places strong emphasis on the resilience of our 5G networks, with this being a key consideration in our assessment and selection of 5G operators.

IMDA has required 5G operators to minimise the dependence of 5G networks on existing networks. In the case of 5G base stations, operators are required to implement resilience measures such as putting in redundant links for 5G base stations and overlapping coverage network design.

IMDA will continue to evaluate cost-effective measures to enhance fibre broadband resilience, and strengthen the resilience and cyber security posture of our 5G networks and services.

Karen Low

Cluster Director

Communications and Marketing Cluster

Infocomm Media Development Authority

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