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IDA's Regulatory Moves Benefit Infocomm Industry and Consumers

To support the growth of Singapore's infocomm market, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has allocated the 446 MHz and 5 GHz bands for low-powered walkie-talkies and wireless local area networks (WLANs) ...

Singapore, 03 February 2004| For Immediate Release

Wider Choice of Radio-Communication & Wireless Devices for Consumers and Total Annual Savings of $200,000 for Telecom Equipment Dealers

To support the growth of Singapore's infocomm market, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has allocated the 446 MHz and 5 GHz bands for low-powered walkie-talkies and wireless local area networks (WLANs) respectively. The IDA has also reduced its Dealers (Individual) annual licence fee from $400 per premise to $250 per premise. These moves mark Singapore's continued commitment in creating a conducive business environment and to keep abreast of world telecommunication trends.

IDA has today allocated the 446.0-446.1 MHz frequency band for low-powered walkie-talkies1 on a non-interference, non-protected and shared-use basis2. The move will allow equipment suppliers to introduce innovative and cost-effective low-powered walkie-talkie into the market. This in turn, will present consumers with a wider choice of devices for their wireless communications needs. In Europe, where such low-powered walkie-talkies are popular, teens arrange for meetings with their friends and warehouse workers contact one another with such devices.

In addition, IDA has increased the bandwidth for WLANs. WLANs allow users portable Internet connection and access to network resources. Previously, only the 5150-5250 MHz and 5725-5850 MHz bands were allocated for WLANs deployment in the 5 GHz band. IDA has now also made the adjacent 5250-5350 MHz frequency band available for WLANs deployment with a power limit of 200 mW (e.i.r.p). Further, WLANs operating in this 5250-5350 MHz bands will be required to implement frequency-sharing mechanisms3 to prevent interference with other radio services.

Lastly, IDA has also increased the current power limit for the 5150-5250 MHz band from 100 mW (e.i.r.p) to 200 mW (e.i.r.p) to be in line with the recommendations by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). All in all, these moves will help to meet the growing demand for wireless LANs in Singapore. The additional spectrum will result in better performance and allow for more flexibility in implementing WLANs.

In addition to the spectrum changes, the IDA has also reduced the annual Dealers (Individual) Licence fee by 38% for suppliers4 dealing in non-type approved telecoms equipment5. The move which is effective immediately, translates to total annual cost savings of about $200,000 for all 1,350 IDA licence-holders. The dealers will only need to pay an annual licence fee of $250 per premise instead of $400 previously. The move aims to ease business costs in view of the current economic situation and is part of IDA's regular review to streamline its licensing fee structure. The revised fee is about 30% lower than Hong Kong's Radio Dealers Licence fee.6

Commenting on IDA's latest regulatory efforts, Mr. Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms) of the IDA said, "The decision to reduce Dealer's (Individual) licence fee will help drive costs down for businesses here thereby enabling our telecoms licensees to offer more competitively-priced products and services. Such savings will also contribute positively to the overall competitiveness of Singapore's economy."

For a summary of the changes in the 446 MHz and 5 GHz bands, please see Annex A (42.00KB). For more information on Singapore's spectrum allocation, please refer to the IDA website ( under the sections "Policy & Regulation"/ "Spectrum & Numbering" / "Spectrum Information". For more information on Dealers (Individual) licence fees, please refer to the section "Policy & Regulation" / "Licensing" / "More" / "Guidelines on Licensing Schemes" / "Telecommunications Dealers Licence".


Notes to Editor:

1Low-powered walkie-talkies are two-way voice-only radio communication equipment that is battery-powered and hand-portable. These are radio walkie-talkies that operate in the 446.0- 446.1 MHz band and used over short distances for both leisure and business. As these walkie-talkies are low-powered devices which do not potentially cause interference to other licensed radio services, it need not be licensed for use in Singapore. However, the device must be type approved by IDA for local sale.

2Devices that operate on a non-interference, non-protected and shared-use basis makes it the users' responsibility to ensure that their radio operations do not cause interference to other users. Users also cannot claim protection from interference i.e. all users have equal rights to channel access and no channel is available for private or exclusive use of any user.

3Frequency-sharing mechanisms such as Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and Automatic Transmit Power Control (ATPC) prevent WLANs services from interfering with other radio services. The DFS mechanism allows WLANs devices to auto-select and use the least crowded radio channel. The ATPC mechanism on the other hand, prevents WLANs devices from emitting more radio signal strength than is needed so as to improve frequency sharing with other radio services.

4 These suppliers include those that manufacture, import, lets for hire and sell any telecoms equipment that has not been approved or registered for sale in Singapore.

5 Non-type approved telecoms equipment refers to devices such as cordless phones, cellular phones, pagers, walkie-talkies, etc that have not been approved or registered for sale in Singapore and is intended for export only. Type-approved equipment on the other hand refers to telecoms equipment for sale in Singapore that is approved by IDA based on IDA's telecoms equipment specifications. Each telecoms device that is type-approved carries a type-approval label with the respective dealer's licence number printed.

6Hong Kong's Radio Dealers Licence fee costs about S$350 per business address for sale of radio-communication transmitting devices. Source: Website of the Office of Telecommunication Authority, Hong Kong (OFTA)

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) develops, promotes and regulates info-communications in Singapore, with the aim of establishing Singapore as one of the world's premier infocomm capitals. To nurture an internationally competitive infocomm industry, IDA offers a comprehensive range of programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more information, visit

For media clarification, please contact:

Ms Noraizah Zainal Abidin 
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Fax: 6211-2227

Ms Jennifer Toh 
Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: 6211-0508
Fax: 6211-2227