Yaacob takes issue with M1, SingTel disruptions

Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim

SINGAPORE - Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim yesterday took to task two major telecommunications providers for their less-than-stellar service over the past few days.

While no network is foolproof, these companies can improve the way they update and assist their customers when disruptions occur, he said in a Facebook post.

M1's service was down for about five hours from 7am on Tuesday.

Dr Yaacob also noted that SingTel users had experienced "intermittent access" to 3G and 4G services yesterday.

"We should expect better service," he said in his post.

Dr Yaacob said he was "dismayed" when he found that M1's service went down again on Tuesday.

"It has been a frustrating experience for M1 customers, especially having just experienced other disruptions in very recent months," he said.

He noted that customers had given feedback that M1 could do better in providing updates to subscribers and communicating with them when services resumed.

He said the Infocomm Development Authority will be carrying out an investigation.

"I have asked them, as the regulator, to have M1 ensure that its network functions optimally," he said.

In January last year, M1 users were hit by a massive disruption that lasted 71 hours. The telco was fined $1.5 million.

Yesterday, M1 sent out a personal apology via text message to its affected subscribers. It was signed off by chief executive Karen Kooi, who said: "I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience you experienced.

"I take this incident seriously and will spare no effort to further enhance our network. Thank you for your understanding and support."

She also reiterated that M1 is offering its users free local mobile calls, text messages and multimedia messages on Sunday.

The telco attributed the latest breakdown to a call-processing software issue that unexpectedly prevented customers' devices from registering on the mobile network.

It is conducting its own investigation into the incident and also appointing an independent expert to conduct a review of the network's architecture and connectivity.


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