Govt issues NTT Docomo administrative guidance

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s communications ministry issued an administrative guidance on Friday to mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo Inc. over its nationwide service disruption in October.

The ministry urged NTT Docomo to take thorough preventive measures, recognizing that the disruption was a “serious incident” under the telecommunications business law.

It also called for improvements in the ways it provides related information to users, as well as the sharing of lessons from the incident with industry peers.

“We apologize again deeply for the inconvenience caused to many customers,” NTT Docomo President Motoyuki Ii said after receiving the administrative guidance at the ministry.

The nationwide disruption occurred on the evening of Oct. 14, leaving some one million people temporarily unable to make phone calls or access NTT Docomo’s networks.

The incident affected more than 12.9 million people overall, including users who had difficulty connecting to the company’s networks. The mobile carrier took 29 hours to fully restore connections.

The disruption was caused by a failure in the process of switching computer servers for devices using internet of things, or IoT, systems.

Adding to the confusion, NTT Docomo notified users that its network had been restored despite continued difficulties in connections.

On Nov. 10, the company submitted a report on the incident to the ministry and announced measures to prevent recurrences. Eight executives, including Ii, will voluntarily return part of their executive compensation.