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M1 suffers 3rd major service disruption in 13 months

SINGAPORE — M1 mobile subscribers could not make calls, send and receive SMSes or surf the Net for most of yesterday morning, after the telco suffered its third major service disruption in slightly more than a year.

M1 suffers 3rd major service disruption in 13 months

Photo: Sion Touhig

SINGAPORE — M1 mobile subscribers could not make calls, send and receive SMSes or surf the Net for most of yesterday morning, after the telco suffered its third major service disruption in slightly more than a year.

The outage, which lasted from 7am to just past noon, according to M1, prompted the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) to express its concern, “taking into consideration other outages that happened ... in the past year”.

The regulator said it would decide on the appropriate course of action after its investigation into yesterday’s incident and has directed M1 to conduct a thorough investigation.

The smallest telco operator in Singapore said in a statement yesterday that preliminary investigations point to an issue with its call-processing software that unexpectedly prevented customers’ devices from registering on the mobile network.

It added that it had incorporated several new network entities and advanced software features in recent upgrades to its mobile network, which increased the network’s complexity.

This meant troubleshooting had to be done on numerous interlinked network entities to ensure services were restored effectively, the telco added.

Asked how many customers and which areas were affected, M1’s Assistant General Manager of Corporate Communications Chua Hian Hou said: “We’re still investigating the incident and will have information such as this only at a later stage.”

M1 CEO Karen Kooi said: “We are sorry for the inconvenience caused. We take this incident very seriously and, in addition to our own investigation, will be appointing an independent expert to conduct a network architecture and connectivity review.”

On M1’s Facebook page, customers posted nearly 5,000 comments on its three posts on the outage as of 9pm yesterday. Some said they faced problems with mobile connectivity till 4pm, while others voiced frustrations with M1’s recurring service disruptions.

Many were also unplacated by the telco’s offer of free local mobile calls, SMSes and MMSes this Sunday.

The last major outage customers faced was on Dec 2 last year, when M1’s mobile data network was affected for six hours by a “software bug”.

In January last year, about 250,000 of the telco’s customers experienced a disruption in 2G and 3G mobile telephone services for three days. The IDA fined M1 a record S$1.5 million for that incident.

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