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M1 not at fault for service disruptions in Feb 2014, Oct 2013: IDA

Zafirah Salim | Jan. 8, 2015
According to IDA’s investigations, the February 2014 outage was caused by an unknown software bug in the mobile site switches, while the October 2013 disruption was due to an unknown software glitch.

M1 Limited (M1) experienced service disruptions in February 2014 and October 2013, and investigations by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) have revealed that these two outages were caused by software issues.

With regards to the outage incident in February last year, IDA found that it was caused by an unknown software bug in the mobile site switches which was not within M1's control. This bug prevented M1 users from being authenticated on the local telco's 2G, 3G and 4G networks, which resulted in the failure of making calls, accessing mobile data and sending or receiving text messages. The outage lasted for up to five hours from 7am.

On the other hand, the service disruption that took place in October 2013 was due to an unknown software glitch. The incident, which occurred after a scheduled network upgrade, could have affected about 23,000 subscribers in Ang Mo Kio, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong, Yishun and Woodlands, said IDA in a statement released yesterday.

Based on these findings, IDA declared that M1 did not violate the Code of Practice for Telecommunication Service Resiliency, and as such, they do not warrant any financial penalties.

"IDA also looked at factors such as whether adequate testing was conducted and whether operators' processes were in line with industry and international best practices. In both instances, it was assessed that M1 had taken all reasonable measures to restore service as expeditiously as possible," the authorities said in the statement.

Nonetheless, IDA pointed out that M1's public communications during the disruption should have been better managed. It has relayed its dissatisfaction to M1, and has also urged the telco to improve its communications to consumers during service disruptions by providing early and regular updates and assistance to users.

"IDA has also imposed tighter regulatory requirements on operators to provide more timely updates to affected users during service outage incidents," it added.


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