Malaysia, Singapore to slash telecom roaming fees

Apr 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: Millions without mobile phone service in Argentina

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Britain's BT in talks to buy mobile operator EE

Dec 15, 2014

BT Group PLC said Monday it is in exclusive talks to buy mobile phone operator EE from Germany's Deutsche Telekom and France's Orange for 12.5 billion pounds ($20 billion) in cash and shares.

Re-imagining the network

Dec 12, 2014

Communication networks are evolving to keep pace with increasing consumer needs and business demands. We've already experienced the progressive jumps from 1G to 4G wireless networks and 5G is looming in the not-too-distant ...

High-speed Internet on its way to more schools

Dec 11, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission agreed Thursday to dramatically boost spending to bring high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries in poor or rural areas, a move that would likely increase Americans' phone ...

User comments : 0

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.