To promote healthy growth of Singapore's telecoms market, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has today amended the Telecoms Competition Code1 (the Code) at the conclusion of its first triennial review2 of the ...
Singapore, 18 February 2005 | For Immediate Release
Revisions will Enhance Competition Development
To promote healthy growth of Singapore's telecoms market, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has today amended the Telecoms Competition Code1 (the Code) at the conclusion of its first triennial review2 of the Code. Amendments3 to the Code enhance competition through removing unnecessary regulations in competitive market segments, and strengthening regulatory provisions in segments with limited competition.
IDA has also issued advisory guidelines on regulatory processes to provide the telecoms industry with more business certainty. These are guidelines on procedures for dispute resolution and, assessment of proposed changes in ownership and consolidations. They provide greater clarity to the framework and procedures for IDA reviews of telecoms sector consolidations, and the processes for telecoms licensees to approach IDA for reconsideration of regulatory decisions.
In market segments where there is effective competition, IDA will scale back its regulatory role. There will be stronger reliance on market forces and industry self-regulation as more effective means of sustaining competition in the long term. For example, IDA will encourage non-dominant licensees to resolve disputes through commercial negotiations or alternative means of dispute resolution. Where there are service choices, IDA will relieve dominant licensees of certain interconnection requirements, such as co-location at satellite earth stations.
IDA will continue to monitor developments and maintain regulatory oversight in market segments with limited competition. This ensures that facilities, essential for competition, are accessible to competing players while maintaining a balance towards facilities-based competition. In line with international practices, the definition of a 'dominant licensee' has been revised to reflect control over telecom facilities that are costly or difficult to replicate, or the ability to restrict output or raise prices above competitive levels. Other Code amendments include the mandate for dominant licensees to publicise all IDA-approved telecoms prices, discount structures and service termination terms on their website, and to offer mandated wholesale services at cost-based or retail-minus prices.
Mr Leong Keng Thai, IDA's Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms) said, "Businesses and consumers in Singapore have benefited tremendously from five years of full telecoms liberalisation. The Telecoms Competition Code has been crucial in facilitating a transparent regulatory framework for competition, and the revised Code will provide investors and industry players with greater regulatory certainty and clarity."
He added, "Constructive feedback from industry and public has contributed significantly to the successful review of the Code. This helped ensure the relevance of the Code in today's market, and continued development of a competitive telecoms environment."
An explanatory memorandum for the revisions to the Code will be available at the 'Policy & Regulation' section of the IDA website at https://www.imda.gov.sg/. The amended Code will come into effect on 4 March 2005.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editor:
1 The Code of Practice for Competition in the Provision of Telecommunications Services (Telecoms Competition Code) came into effect on 29 September 2000. First introduced in September 2000, the Code provides a regulatory framework that strives to accelerate competition development and aims to foster fair, effective and sustainable competition. It defines the boundaries for competition conduct in a fully liberalised telecoms environment. The Code is one of the most comprehensive competition frameworks among countries with liberalised telecom markets, and it was developed in close consultation with the industry, and with local and international telecom experts. It was also based on studies of best practices in other countries.
2 Following three years of liberalised market development, IDA started its first triennial review of the Code in October 2003 to ensure relevance to current market environment. As part of an extensive review, IDA launched a public consultation exercise on proposed revisions to the Code from 7 October to 5 December 2003, and a second public consultation from 11 May to 22 June 2004.
3 Please refer to the attached fact sheet (37.78KB) for details on some key revisions to the Code.
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocommunications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/.
For media clarification, please contact:
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: (65) 6211 1997
Fax: (65) 6211 2227