To promote further competition and enhance consumer benefits, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's (IDA) is reviewing the number portability solutions for both fixed-line and mobile phone services ...
Singapore, 06 September 2005 | For Immediate Release
Proposal to Keep Singapore Relevant with New Technologies, Market Developments
To promote further competition and enhance consumer benefits, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's (IDA) is reviewing the number portability solutions for both fixed-line and mobile phone services. Number Portability (NP) is the ability for phone users to retain their current phone numbers, and receive phone calls at those phone numbers, when they change telecoms operators.
IDA is seeking industry and consumer feedback on the existing number portability solutions. Mobile number portability1 (MNP) was introduced in Singapore in April 1997. In June 2003, mobile operators were further required to cease recurrent monthly MNP service fees, and to provide short message service (SMS)2 portability together with MNP. Fixed number portability3 was implemented in April 2000, together with the start of fixed-line competition. In light of recent technology and market developments, it is timely for Singapore to review the existing number portability solutions. Number portability solutions are now more mature, and can be implemented at lower costs.
IDA is also proposing that operators adopt a centralised database approach for number portability in Singapore. The adoption of a centralised database approach can provide a more robust solution for number portability. Such a database will contain appropriate phone number information, and will easily identify the operator to which phone numbers have been ported to. This means that subscribers' phone numbers can follow them when they change operators, instead of having their calls forwarded to a new phone number. This database will be accessible to all operators, service and content providers. It ensures that phone calls, short message services (SMS) and multimedia message services (MMS), and other value-added services, are correctly transferred to customers who have switched operators.
In the public consultation, operators and interested parties may also propose approaches other than the centralised database, as well as the corresponding administrative and technical solutions. These proposals must meet IDA's number portability requirements and policy objectives.
IDA Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms) Mr Leong Keng Thai said, "Number portability benefits consumers by allowing them to take advantage of the latest service plans from any operator, without the hassle and inconvenience of changing phone numbers. A robust and efficient solution for number portability will enhance benefits for consumers and businesses." He added, "With technology advancements, it is timely for IDA to review the number portability solution - to ensure that it continues to effectively serve the infocomm market, and hence promote further competition."
All views and comments should be submitted in writing to reach IDA, by 5 October 2005, 12 noon, Singapore time. The consultation paper can be downloaded from the IDA website at https://www.imda.gov.sg/, under the sections "Policy & Regulation", "Consultation Papers".
ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editor:
1 Mobile operators decided on the Call Forwarding technical solution to meet IDA's mobile number portability requirements.
2 Short message service (SMS) is a service available on GSM networks. It allows text messages, with a maximum of 160 characters, to be sent to or received by mobile phones.
3 The technical solution for fixed number portability - Intelligent Network ("IN")-based technical solution - was agreed and implemented between Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) and StarHub.
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocommunications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/.
For media clarification, please contact:
Manager, Corporate & Marketing Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: (65) 6211 1997
Fax: (65) 6211 2227