StarHub mobile services disrupted for several hours

StarHub mobile services disrupted for several hours
Singapore's second-largest telecoms firm on Wednesday reported nearly doubled quarterly profit, thanks to a tax credit and higher sales due to the bundling of its mobile, broadband Internet and cable-TV services.

Many StarHub customers were cut off from mobile services for up to eight hours yesterday, in what was the second mobile disruption in Singapore this year.

In a statement last night, the telco said all affected network services were restored at 5.30pm.

Customers first reported problems in making and receiving calls as early as 9.30am. StarHub acknowledged the problem on Facebook shortly after 11am, saying voice services of customers in the eastern and western parts of Singapore were intermittently disrupted. It said mobile data and SMS services were not affected.

But users in the northern and central areas - including Bukit Batok, Woodlands and Orchard Road - were also complaining about connection problems.

Community relations executive Hng Hwee Ling, 28, said she was talking to a friend during lunchtime when her call was cut off. She was at Bukit Batok Central.

"I thought the problem was with my phone. I rebooted it a couple of times," said Ms Hng, whose connection was restored at 3pm.

Pockets of users also complained about not having data connection. In its media statement, StarHub said data connection disruption, which started at 2.30pm, was restored at 5.30pm. It said 4G customers were unaffected.

Warehouse administrator Ling Chua, 21, said she was unable to get data connection on her company-issued mobile phone, in addition to having voice call woes.

"I couldn't talk to my clients for more than two minutes without being cut off," said Ms Chua, who works in Pasir Panjang.

The Infocomm Development Authority said in a Facebook post around 4.30pm that it was investigating the issue.

Some users could use SMS and messaging apps although their voice services were disrupted. "Still, it was frustrating as I had to coordinate a department off-site at Clarke Quay," said teacher Elsa Chen, 28, who had to borrow a friend's phone.

In February this year, many M1 users could not make calls for six hours. This was due to call congestion that arose from equipment experiencing intermittent connection problems while authenticating mobile users. This was not related to a 71-hour mobile service disruption in January last year, for which M1 was fined $1.5 million.

itham@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Nov 13, 2014.
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