Malaysia, Singapore to slash telecom roaming fees

April 20, 2011
A woman texts a message in 2010. Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to slash roaming charges for voice calls and text messaging over the next two years in a landmark accord, regulators said Wednesday.

Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to slash roaming charges for voice calls and text messaging over the next two years in a landmark accord, regulators said Wednesday.

The agreement is the first bilateral deal to slash telecom in Southeast Asia and is expected to trigger similar pacts within the region, Malaysian Information Minister Rais Yatim said.

A statement issued by the Infocomm Development Authority of (IDA) said roaming charges for voice calls will be reduced by up to 20 percent from May 1 this year, with the cut reaching a maximum of 30 percent from May 1, 2012.

Roaming charges for short messaging services (SMS), or text messaging, will come down by up to 30 percent next month, reaching 50 percent from May 1 next year, the statement said.

IDA and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission are "currently studying" roaming charges for data services, including multi-media services and video calls, and are "reviewing the appropriate actions," the statement added.

Rais described the agreement as "the first bilateral cooperation to reduce roaming charges within ASEAN and paves the way for other similar efforts among ASEAN countries," according to the statement.

ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) groups and Singapore with Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The statement quoted Singapore's Information Minister Lui Tuck Yew as urging regulators from both sides to "continue to identify new initiatives to enhance connectivity."

Telecom roaming allows subscribers to use their mobile phones to call when overseas using the network of the domestic operators, but charges are expensive.

Explore further: Roaming a headache along Irish border

Related Stories

EC to move on lowering phone roam rates

February 6, 2006

The European Commission plans to announce legislative steps to lower the roaming charges wireless phones users pay for international calls.

Recommended for you

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Not another new phone! But Nextbit's Robin is smarter

September 2, 2015

San Francisco-based Nextbit wants you to meet Robin, which they consider as the smarter smartphone. Their premise is that no one is making a smart smartphone; when you get so big it's hard to see the forest through the trees. ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.