The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) announced today that from April 1st when the telecommunication market is fully liberalised, users of fixed-line services will be able to retain their existing telephone numbers when switching operators. Number portability for mobile...
Singapore, 31 March 2000 | For Immediate Release
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) announced today that from April 1st when the telecommunication market is fully liberalised, users of fixed-line services will be able to retain their existing telephone numbers when switching operators. Number portability for mobile communication services has already been available since 1 April 1997. Fixed and mobile number portability1 (NP) is mandated by IDA to help reduce users' inertia to change operators because of concerns of inconvenience arising from the need to change their numbers. This is important as Singapore moves towards a multi-player competitive environment so that users can exercise choice of service providers in the fully liberalised telecommunication sector.
IDA has determined the inter-operator NP charges for both fixed and mobile services. Fixed and mobile operators are required under IDA's licence conditions to commercially negotiate the inter-operator NP charges, based on a set of NP charging principles set by IDA. IDA will subsequently determine such inter-operator charges if the operators fail to reach a commercial agreement. As the operators were unable to reach agreement amongst themselves, IDA had made its determinations2 based on submissions by each operator on their proposed charges and justification for these charges. The determined NP charges shall apply on an interim basis starting April 1st for one year for Fixed NP (FNP) and six months for Mobile NP (MNP). Operators shall commercially negotiate the applicable NP charges after the specified interim period has concluded. The charges are in the attached tables in the Annex.
The technical approach adopted for FNP and MNP differ. The provision of FNP utilises an Intelligent Network (IN) solution based on a "Query on Release" method3. A simple call forwarding solution will continue to be used for MNP4 as an IN-based solution for MNP is not yet commercially viable.
The availability of NP for both fixed line and mobile services will bring about a wide range of benefits. For porting customers, it includes the ease of switching operators with the convenience of retaining the same telephone numbers. General users of telecommunication services will also gain as NP will enhance competition and bring about its accompanying benefits such as more competitive prices and innovative service offerings. Operators will also be encouraged to actively meet their customers' needs in order to retain their existing customers.
Details can be found under in the Policy and Regulation section of the IDA's website at www.ida.gov.sg. The report on IDA's determination of FNP and MNP inter-operator charges is posted under the "Information Papers" subsection.
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editors:
1 Number Portability is defined as the ability for subscribers to retain their current numbers, including 1800 (toll-free) and 1900 (premium) services numbers, when they change operators or geographical location.
2 The IDA determination was formulated based on IDA's NP charging principles and considering "best practice" interconnection charging principles and economic principles advocated by the United States (US), Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom (UK). The NP charges were also based on a review of the calculations supporting the charging proposals submitted by Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) and StarHub Pte Ltd (StarHub) for Fixed Number Portability (FNP), and SingTel Mobile Pte Ltd (SingTel Mobile), StarHub Pte Ltd (StarHub) and MobileOne (Asia) Pte Ltd (MobileOne) for Mobile Number Portability (MNP). The calculations were analysed and compared to charging practices for similar NP services in the jurisdictions noted earlier.
3 "Query on Release" method requires the Donor Network (i.e. the initial network where a number was located before ever being ported) to provide an indication to the originating network that the number called is a ported number. The originating network will then query its database to determine where the call should be routed. Relevant information on ported numbers are exchanged between operators for the purpose of updating their individual databases.
4 Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has already been implemented in Singapore since 1 April 1997, when the second public cellular mobile phone network operator, MobileOne, commenced commercial services to compete against SingTel Mobile. This was a requirement set by IDA, and Singapore is among the first in the world to have NP for mobile services. As the technology for MNP is still not mature, the service has been introduced using the call forwarding facility for mobile phone users and Automatic Interception Service for pager users. The operators are continuing to look into longer term and more robust NP solution based on Intelligent Network (IN) technology.
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, please visit www.ida.gov.sg.
Annex: Number Portability Charges Determined by IDA
|Table 1: Determined Charges for FNP (as of 31 March 2000)|
|One-time charge per ported number|
- Application $9.50
- Application $9.50
|Table 2: Determined Charges for MNP (as of 31 March 2000)|
|One-time administration charge|
|One-time administration charge - Subsequent Porting|
|Monthly recurring charge|
|Access charges per NP call minute:|
For media clarification, please contact:
Ms Dulcie Chan
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: (65) 6322-1999
Fax: (65) 6779-5340