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Brunei Darussalam and Singapore Agree to Reduce Mobile Roaming Rates

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Brunei Darussalam and Singapore Agree to Reduce Mobile Roaming Rates
10/09/2014
From 1 January 2015, mobile phone subscribers in Brunei Darussalam and Singapore will enjoy more affordable mobile roaming rates. Mobile phone subscribers from both Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, when travelling to either country, will enjoy rate reductions of typically up to 10 per cent for voice calls, and up to 50 per cent for Short Message Service (SMS) text messages, video calls and data.[1]  
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) have worked together with mobile operators in the two countries to reduce the mobile roaming rates.  This followed an earlier commitment made by The Honourable Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Communications, Brunei Darussalam, and His Excellency Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, Singapore, in June 2012 on exploring ways to reduce the prevailing roaming rates for travellers to both countries.
 
The reduction of the mobile roaming rates marks another milestone for ASEAN. The region had committed to work closer together to lower mobile roaming rates at the 17th ASEAN Telecommunications Regulators’ Council (ATRC) in 2011.  Negotiations for the rate reductions between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore began in light of the global trend of increasing data consumption. This arrangement is also the first such agreement in the region to include rate reductions for roaming mobile data, and the first roaming arrangement that will be notified under the ASEAN Framework Agreement for Services (AFAS)[2]. 


 
 
Both AITI and IDA recognised the cooperation of the mobile operators to lower the roaming rates.  They also noted that this is the first such arrangement in the Asia-Pacific region that includes data roaming. This agreement will help address the changing mobile needs of its people, promote greater communication linkages between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, and reinforce the already strong bilateral ties.
 
The Honourable Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar and His Excellency Minister Yaacob witnessed the signing of the Singapore-Brunei Darussalam International Mobile Roaming arrangement between AITI and IDA at the Asia Pacific Telecommunity Ministerial Meeting held in Brunei Darussalam on 10 September 2014.
 
[1] Actual percentage reductions to be applied on retail rates would vary depending on mobile service provider, and may be more than 10% for voice and 50% for the other services.  
 
[2] The AFAS was signed by the ASEAN Economic Ministers on 15 December 1995.  Amongst others, it aims to enhance cooperation in services amongst ASEAN Member States in order to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of their service providers, eliminate substantially restriction to trade in services, and further expand the depth and scope of services liberalisation beyond those undertaken by Member States under the General Agreement on Trade in Services at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
 
JOINTLY ISSUED BY THE AUTHORITY FOR INFO-COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY OF BRUNEI DARUSSALAM (AITI) AND THE INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE (IDA)