To promote effective competition, consumers must be given freedom of choice in a multi-operator environment. One way is to allow consumers to use the same number if they change service providers, that is, number portability. As ...
Singapore, 10 January 1997 | For Immediate Release
To promote effective competition, consumers must be given freedom of choice in a multi-operator environment. One way is to allow consumers to use the same number if they change service providers, that is, number portability. As such, TAS has mandated number portability by 1 April 97 for the mobile phone and paging services.
Currently, the technology on number portability is being developed such that number portability solutions can be technically robust and commercially viable to benefit consumers in the long run. No country has thus fully implemented number portability for mobile services.
Notwithstanding the absence of cost-effective technical solutions, TAS has required that operators introduce measures from 1 April 97 to effect number portability when customers switch operators. Contrary to what Straits Times of 10 January 97 has stated, both the mobile phone and pager users can switch operators and still retain their existing numbers. However, because of initial technical constraints, there will be some feature limitations in the first year. For example, Short Message Service (SMS) will not be available for GSM users. Also, the number of the mobile phone caller will not be shown on the called party's Calling Number Identification (CLI) device. Instead, another number assigned to the mobile phone user by the new operator will appear.
For paging service, subscribers can still retain their existing numbers. However, the initial measure to effect number portability will be visible to callers who page the subscribers as there will be a very short delay of a customised announcement made by the paging operator before the paging call is completed.
These initial measures were discussed and agreed by the operators. The operators are now finalising the implementation details on the technical and commercial aspects before they launch their commercial services. The operators will continue with their technical and commercial discussions for longer term solutions to effect true number portability.
Also, contrary to the Straits Times report, the operators have been co-operative and are fully supportive of the process to implement number portablility. Operators have expressed confidence that the business and commercial arrangements under discussion now will be completed before 1 April 97. TAS will continue to facilitate the process to achieve an amicable outcome that will be fair to operators and allow consumers to benefit from competition.
For news information, please contact:
Ms Loo Wai Ling
Corporate Communication Executive
Tel: (65) 322 1999
Fax: (65) 323 0941