Consistel fined S$300,000 for licence breach, accused of falsifying information

August 15th, 2016 | by Alfred Siew
Consistel fined S$300,000 for licence breach, accused of falsifying information
Telecom
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The Singapore Sports Hub in May 2015. PHOTO: cegoh

The Singapore Sports Hub in May 2015. PHOTO: cegoh

Consistel, the systems integrator that runs the telecom systems in Singapore’s Sports Hub, has been fined S$300,000 for breaching its licence obligations, in a case described “as the most serious instance of misconduct” by the government regulator.

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has also made a police report, accusing the company of providing misleading information and documents.

Consistel is said to have struck a deal to transfer its licence to build, run and maintain antenna systems in the Sports Hub to another company as early as October 2013, without seeking approval from the regulator.

Consistel only asked the IDA in June 2014 after it had already agreed to sell its assets to Consistent Sprint, a company owned by Consistel’s parent company and another partner, Asia Networks, the regulator said today.

Not aware that Consistel had already carried out the transfer, the IDA approved the deal only after the fact. It only found out in January this year when it was “informed”, presumably by an anonymous source, and it has now pulled its approval as well.

For Consistel, what is worse than a fine is the charge of misleading the regulator. The IDA said it had deliberately withheld information and did not clarify the true state of affairs when it was questioned.

This could throw the company’s efforts to be Singapore’s fourth telecom operator into disarray.

Aileen Chia, the IDA’s director-general of Telecoms & Post, said as much in a report in The Straits Times today, when she noted that the case may affect Consistel’s bid.

It was the most serious instance of misconduct that had been brought to the IDA’s attention thus far, she said.

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