StarHub confirms problem with 3G voice network

Update at 6:07pm: Latest update announcing the full restoration of services

“Our 3G outgoing voice call service, which was temporarily affected in certain western and central areas earlier today, was fully restored at 5pm. We are monitoring the situation closely to ensure service stability for our customers. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and thank affected customers for their patience and understanding.”

Update at 3.55pm: StarHub called me minutes after this post went live. Below is the official statement.

“The intermittent 3G outgoing voice call issue, which temporarily affected some customers in certain western and central areas, is being progressively restored. We are working towards full resolution for customers as quickly as possible.”

StarHub has confirmed that it is currently experiencing problems with its 3G voice network, and says that the company is currently working on a fix. The official confirmation was reported on Channel News Asia, and comes on the heels of complaints from irate customers on its official Facebook page about difficulties in making phone calls.

One StarHub customer by the name of Stanley Loke wrote last night that he went all the way down to a customer service center to replace a SIM card after he had been advised to do so when he called the company’s customer service hotline. At the retail outlet however, he was told that the fault was not due to a faulty SIM card, but with unspecified problems with the network.

An official response to another complaint noted that StarHub shed additional light on the problem, noting that the company is currently “rectifying an intermittent 3G voice call issue” which “temporarily affects some customers in certain western and central areas.” This was followed by a recommendation to switch to 2G for voice calls instead.

It is worth noting that modern smartphones typically favor 4G and 3G connectivity over 2G networks. Some default settings may omit 2G entirely, which would result in a drop in connectivity should 3G or 4G services be unavailable. Of course, switching to 2G is not without its downside; because 2G uses a single channel for both voice and data, getting on a phone call results in the cessation of data services for the duration of the call. Moreover, the GPRS and EDGE data services offered under the 2G network are also substantially slower than 3G data services.

I have not personally encountered any issues with my StarHub network so far, though I am in the eastern part of Singapore (Singapore Expo) covering a conference today. However, at least one user in the central area have complained about unexplained rapid switching between 2G and 3G network, as well as the intermittent lack of data connectivity around noon today.

I have reached out to StarHub but did not immediately hear back from them. I will update this article once we have any updates.