Close collaboration between IDA and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has resulted in a reduction in mobile roaming rates.
Roaming rates between Singapore and Malaysia will be reduced by up to 30 per cent for voice calls and up to 50 per cent for SMSes over two phases starting from 1 May 2011. This follows the successful conclusion of discussions between the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
The two agencies have been working closely together with mobile operators in the two countries who will implement the price reductions for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers. Both the wholesale inter-operator charges and the retail subscriber charges will be reduced to effect the lowered prices.
The reduction in roaming rates follows a joint announcement made by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore, and H.E. Dato’ Sri Utama Dr Rais Yatim, Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, Malaysia, in June 2010, that both countries were committed to explore ways to reduce the prevailing roaming rates for mobile phone users.
Commenting on the milestone at a launch event held in Putrajaya, Shangri-La in Kuala Lumpur on 20 April 2011, Mr Lui said, “I applaud the commitment of (our) mobile operators to this endeavour which will help promote greater communication linkages between our countries”. Mr Lui also said that he hoped to see regulators on both sides “continue to identify new initiatives to enhance connectivity between Singapore and Malaysia".
“This is a significant effort for Malaysia and Singapore as it marks the close cooperation between our two countries. It is also the first bilateral cooperation to reduce roaming charges within ASEAN and paves the way for other similar efforts among ASEAN countries,” said Dato’ Sri Utama Dr Rais Yatim.
The telecom regulators in both countries, IDA and MCMC, have been studying the rates charged by mobile operators to better understand the prevailing industry practice and charging model. As mobile roaming charges involve different price components charged by operators from both countries, any study of and regulatory requirement to reduce roaming charges required coordination and cooperation between both regulators to ensure that users from both countries benefit from the decision. Both regulators are also currently studying the pricing of roaming data services, MMSes and video calls and reviewing the appropriate actions to take with regard to