Singapore telco M1 has been slapped with a S$1.5 million (US$1.2 million) fine for the three-day outage earlier this year.
From 15 to 18 January this year, around 250,000 M1 users experienced disruption to their 2G and 3G mobile services. Users in the West Coast, Jurong and Tuas areas were unable to detect 3G signals while users in the Woodlands, Yishun and Kranji were unable to detect 2G signals.
According to IDA, the service disruption was due to M1's failure to ensure good electrical installation practices when carrying out power termination during upgrading works on 15 January this year at one of its network operation centres. This resulted in the emission of sparks and smoke which activated the gas suppression system, and in turn set off a water sprinkler, causing the failure of one of M1's mobile network switches.
IDA assessed that M1 had not carried out adequate risk assessment on the upgrading works. M1 had not exercised due care and diligence in ensuring sufficient safeguards to minimise the risks posed to its equipment and operations when carrying out its upgrading works. The telco also did not have sufficiently rigorous control and supervision of the upgrading process, despite the works being carried out at a key infrastructure node housing sensitive telecoms equipment.
In its decision to impose the financial penalty on the telco, IDA considered mitigating factors. One of the factors is the fact that M1's end-users in the south-western and north-western parts of Singapore were able to switch to the 2G and 3G mobile networks respectively to use their mobile services. Another factor is the telco's commitment to invest in network upgrades to enhance service resiliency, to prevent similar occurrences in future.
IDA said it will closely monitor and validate M1's implementation of the committed network upgrades to enhance the resiliency of its network.
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