Singapore's mobile market will get new impetus for growth in the new year in the wake of two IDA announcements. First, all three mobile operators have successfully met IDA's requirement for nationwide rollout of 3G systems and ...
Singapore, 03 January 2005 | For Immediate Release
Mobile Operators Rollout 3G Nationwide and Enjoy More Flexibility on Pricing
Singapore's mobile market will get new impetus for growth in the new year in the wake of two IDA announcements. First, all three mobile operators have successfully met IDA's requirement for nationwide rollout of 3G systems and services. Second, IDA will allow the mobile operators the flexibility to charge different prices for calls within and outside of their own networks.
Nationwide 3G Rollout
The three mobile operators in Singapore - MobileOne, SingTel Mobile, and StarHub Mobile, have successfully met the IDA's licence requirement for the nationwide rollout of 3G systems and services by 31 December 2004. IDA used the measurement criteria of "at least 95% of street-level 3G radio coverage on the island of Singapore, by 31 December 2004, using a signal strength that is greater or equals to minus 100dBm"1. This is an objective measure of what the 3G network can minimally provide on service launch. The nationwide rollout requirement aims to foster the growth of 3G to the benefit of consumers in Singapore. All three operators achieved radio coverage scores of above 98%.
Mr Leong Keng Thai, IDA's Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms) said, "This result and the positive initial response from consumers show that IDA's requirement of a nationwide rollout is justified. With the network infrastructure in place, Singapore consumers can look forward to enjoying mobile broadband services delivered to their mobile phones and PCs."
IDA conducted signal strength measurements on drive-tests routes that extend throughout the island of Singapore to ascertain whether the measurement criteria had been met. Over 200,000 signal strength samples were taken from each operator's network along 47 major road routes and at 20 public housing estates. Operators had to meet at least the minimum signal strength level for 95% or more of the total signal strength samples collected.
Relaxed Mobile Pricing
Using the same market-based approach, and recognising that the mobile market in Singapore is mature and competitive, IDA is also lifting its policy that previously prevented operators from pricing intra- and inter-network mobile calls differently2. Mobile operators now have the flexibility to charge different prices for intra-network calls (i.e., made between its subscribers) and inter-network calls (i.e., made between its subscribers and subscribers of other networks), if they so wish. This flexibility will be allowed for calls originating from both 2G and 3G mobile networks.
This move is aligned with IDA's approach of minimising regulation in markets that are effectively competitive. Mobile operators will now have more flexibility in pricing their service packages and promotions. Together with the successful nationwide rollout of 3G systems and services, users of mobile services in Singapore can look forward to more choice and service innovation.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editor:
1 The measurement criteria for nationwide rollout is based on a service coverage definition using signal strength. The availability of service coverage is the ability of a network to achieve a certain minimum signal strength level. Signal strength, measured in decibel milliwatts (dBm), is the power carried by the main cell/base station serving particular vicinity. At -100dBm, end-users should be able to obtain voice and basic data services, such as SMS and MMS, on their 3G handsets.
2 During the early days of liberalisation, mobile operators had wanted to introduce different pricing for intra-network for intra-network calls made between its subscribers, and inter-network calls made between its subscribers and the subscribers of other networks. IDA used to disallow such differentiated pricing, except when it is offered on a short-term promotional basis or limited to specific class of users. Such differentiated pricing favours operators with significantly larger subscriber bases, as it could discourage consumers from switching operators and hinder the development of effective competition in the mobile market, especially in the initial days of competition development.
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.
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