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IDA Relaxes Its Policy on Uniform Local Payphone Rate

Issued Date: 31/01/2007

Decision Date: 31/01/2007

Consultation Papers and Decisions - IDA Relaxes Its Policy on Uniform Local Payphone Rate

31 January 2007

IDA will relax the rules on local payphone rates to allow operators of local payphones to set their own prices for local payphone services, subject to a price cap.  Previously, payphone operators have to charge a fixed rate of $0.10 per 3-minute block for local calls.  From 1 March 2007, they have flexibility to set their own prices, provided that these prices do not exceed the cap of $0.10 per 2-minute block.

The demand for local payphone services in Singapore has fallen steadily over the years due to substitution from alternative telecommunication services such as mobile phones. The relaxation of the rule will allow operators to make adjustments to the rates for payphone services to ensure business viability.

The local payphone rate has been unchanged at $0.10 per 3-minute block since the 1960s.  In 1995, when IDA (then the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore) liberalised the payphone services market, a uniform payphone rate policy was introduced.  Any payphone operator of just local payphone services (by way of resale) was exempted from licensing if it provided: -

i.  emergency services free-of-charge; and

ii. local payphone services at $0.10 per 3-minute block. 

These requirements helped to minimise public confusion in a multi-operator environment.

With the latest rule change, local payphone operators (by way of resale) will continue to be exempted from licensing if they: -

i.   provide emergency services free-of-charge;
ii.  provide local payphone calls at $0.10 per 2-minute block or longer; and
iii. in the event they provide local payphone calls at any rate other than $0.10 per 3-minute block, make public  their prevailing local payphone call rate to their users (for example, via an automated or interactive voice system before each call or via a visible notice on each payphone unit they install). 

Operators who wish to provide international telephone services via their payphones will continue to be required to register for a Services-Based Operator (Class) licence.

To reflect and effect the above revised policy, the relevant licensing requirements and technical specifications will be amended accordingly.

a. Telecommunications (Exemption of Resellers of Local Calls Operating Coinafons or Payphones) Notification 2007 (17.03KB)

b. Telecommunications (Class Licences) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (16.54KB)