15 December 2009 - Come March 2010, Singapore will reap more benefits from competitive telecommunication services as new guidelines for such services kick in. The new guidelines will apply to new or renewed contracts for all fixed-line, mobile and broadband services offered to consumers from 1 March 2010 onwards.
Singapore, 15 December 2009| For Immediate Release
Come March 2010, Singapore will reap more benefits from competitive telecommunication services as new guidelines for such services kick in. The new guidelines will apply to new or renewed contracts for all fixed-line, mobile and broadband services offered to consumers from 1 March 2010 onwards.
With these guidelines, the maximum contract period for all such services will not exceed 24 months. Consumers who sign on to contracts longer than three months and who terminate their contracts before the end of their contract period will no longer have to pay fixed early termination charges, but will see these charges decrease over time on a month-by-month basis as they serve out their contract. In addition, operators offering these services must also ensure that these early termination charges do not include costs which they can avoid when the consumer terminates his service. Such costs could include back-end administrative and operational costs that the operator would not have to incur once the customer terminates the service.
The new guidelines were prompted by consumers' concerns that contract periods might be becoming unduly long, and early termination charges excessively high, which together hinder them from terminating the service and switching between operators. These guidelines were subsequently developed after a public consultation and a review by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).
IDA Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms and Post) Leong Keng Thai said, "We encourage the operators to compete with each other on price, quality and innovative services. In promoting effective competition in the telecoms sector, we have to lower barriers for consumers to terminate services legitimately and switch from one operator to another to enjoy more attractive or competitively-priced services. The new guidelines will give consumers greater flexibility and freedom to pick from the wide variety of plans in the fast-changing and dynamic telecoms market, unhindered by long contracts or excessive early termination fees."
"On the other hand, the guidelines will continue to allow the operators freedom to innovate in designing new service plans to attract customers, including offering discounts and gifts. IDA would also like to encourage operators to provide no-frills service offerings that come with shorter contract terms, to cater to a segment of consumers who prefer such services. The consumer can look forward to more competition in telecommunication services."
The guidelines seek to ensure that industry practices will be more reasonable and fair, and strike a balance between protecting the interest of both consumers and providing operators with the freedom to innovate in designing service plans, while enabling them to seek early termination charges on a cost-recovery basis.
For more information, please refer to the Cover Note (217.99KB) and Advisory Guidelines on Contract Period and Early Termination Charges for Telecommunication Services Offered to End Users (120.12KB).
ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
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 www.imda.gov.sg.
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HO Ka Wei (Mr)
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