Mobile Phone Interference Alleged During Samoa Rugby Match

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Digicel files service disruption complaint as Manu Samoa played All Blacks

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, July 14, 2015) – The Office of the Regulator has launched an official investigation into claims that there was "deliberate interference" to Digicel’s network during the historical match between Manu Samoa and the All Blacks last Wednesday.

The investigation was confirmed by the Interim Regulator, Unutoa Auelua– Fonoti, yesterday.

She told the Samoa Observer that the investigation follows an official complaint lodged by Digicel last Friday.

"We are now conducting our normal investigation process into the matter," said Mrs. Auelua-Unutoa.

The Interim Regulator did not say who was being investigated and how long the investigation would take.

Last Wednesday, hundreds of Digicel customers faced connectivity issues during the match.

In an email yesterday, Digicel’s Chief Executive Officer, Rory Condon, said someone "deliberately interfered with Digicel’s network equipment at Apia Park".

"Digicel’s 3G network was disrupted and mobile services to its customers in and around Apia Park were severely impacted," he said.

"Digicel immediately brought this to the attention of the authorities and lodged a formal complaint about the deliberate interference with the Office of the Regulator on 10 July, 2015".

Mr. Condon added that "Digicel is also considering other courses of action to address the wilful damage that was caused".

According to the C.E.O, Digicel had planned to provide Wi-Fi services at Apia Park last week but decided against it. Mr. Condon maintained that Digicel is committed to providing visitors to Samoa and the game with a world class telecommunications experience as it had during the U.N. Small Island Developing States conference.

"During the period leading up to the game, we invested heavily to ensure that we had extra capacity available across our network to meet the anticipated increased demand by local customers and international visitors".

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