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Results of Consultation on the Fixed-Mobile Interconnection Regime

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has announced its decision today following a review of the Fixed-Mobile Interconnection (FMI) regime and the Mobile Party Pays (MPP) retail charge system. Based on the views and submissions received and taking into account market trends and...

Singapore, 3 May 2000 | For Immediate Release

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has announced its decision today following a review of the Fixed-Mobile Interconnection (FMI) regime and the Mobile Party Pays (MPP) retail charge system. Based on the views and submissions received and taking into account market trends and developments, the IDA's decision is to retain the present FMI regime and MPP system.

IDA issued a consultation paper in October 1999 to invite the views of the industry and the public on the current FMI regime and to assess its applicability amidst market trends and developments. Specifically, the IDA sought comments on the possible scenarios and implications should: (a) the current FMI regime be changed; (b) the change be adopted by all or some of the operators; and (c) the Calling Party Pays (CPP) retail charge system be adopted industry-wide in place of the MPP system.

At the close of the deadline for submission on 31 December 1999, 7 responses were received from: AT&T; Nortel Networks; MobileOne Asia Pte Ltd, StarHub Pte Ltd; Singapore Telecommunication Ltd; SingTel Paging Pte Ltd; and SingTel Mobile Pte Ltd.

While a majority of the respondents did not support the change of the current FMI regime and the switch to a CPP system, there were some respondents who expressed support for a change. The support for the change was in view of the potential benefits accruing to mobile phone users, such as the expansion of the mobile cellular market by making such services more affordable to existing customers and attractive to new customers. The IDA's assessment was that the CPP system was neither necessary nor sufficient to boost the take-up of mobile phone and paging services. Consumers would benefit more if the overall affordability and competitiveness of the subscription and usage costs, including handset prices, allowed them to own mobile phones. Further, while a CPP system may increase the subscriber base for operators, an increase in the number of registered subscribers does not automatically translate into more calls being made as fixed-line users and other mobile subscribers are likely to refrain from calling mobile subscribers unless necessary.

Respondents who were not in favour of the change also cited possible confusion amongst fixed line users as a consideration. This is because different mobile operators would likely charge different rates to complete the calls to their mobile subscribers. Fixed line callers would need to be notified of the different call charges applicable, depending on which mobile networks the mobile subscribers they were calling were connected to. For instance, in some countries, callers are informed via voice messages that their calls have been forwarded to a mobile network. Callers are also notified of the charges that they will be expected to pay.

IDA's assessment is that the costs of any change would likely outweigh any potential benefits for both consumers and industry for now. As such, the present FMI regime and MPP system will remain for the time being. Notwithstanding this, the IDA welcomes inputs from industry and the public any time should they view that circumstances warrant a review.

The IDA's policy paper, including its assessment of all comments and views received on this issue can be downloaded from this website. The IDA thanks all respondents for their considered and constructive views and comments.


Note to the Editor:

The current fixed-mobile interconnection (FMI) regime is related to the retail pricing structure for mobile phone and paging services, which is based on a Mobile Party Pay (MPP) system. Mobile phone subscribers pay for both incoming and outgoing calls. Hence, for outgoing calls to fixed networks, the mobile operator would pay the fixed network operator (for completing calls from its mobile subscribers) from the airtime charges it collects from its mobile subscribers. For incoming calls from the fixed network, the mobile operator does not need to collect from the fixed network subscriber or operator for the use of its mobile phone network to complete the call as the retail airtime charges it collects from its mobile subscribers will cover this cost. In the case of paging networks, operators recover the incoming network portion through monthly subscription fees or per-page charges from their paging subscribers. The respective fixed and mobile operators do not pay the paging network operators any charges for paging calls made by their fixed line or mobile phone subscribers to the paging subscribers.

In comparison, the retail pricing for fixed-to-fixed network calls is based on a Calling Party Pay (CPP) system. Under CPP, the calling party bears all charges for a call and the called party does not pay for incoming calls. Fixed-to-fixed interconnection (FFI) regime also differs from FMI in that in general, call completion (i.e. termination) charges are borne by the operator whose fixed network the call originates from and are paid to the other to compensate for the use of the other operator's fixed network resources.

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

For media clarification, please contact:

Ms Jennifer Toh
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: (65) 6211-0508
Fax: (65) 6211-2227