Parliament Sitting on 4 July 2017
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
*20. Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information whether there has been progress in reducing mobile roaming charges across ASEAN to promote business and tourism.
Madam Speaker, tangible progress has been made in reducing roaming rates in the region in recent years, particularly for data roaming. Mobile operators in ASEAN, including our local operators, have introduced a number of innovative, transparent and affordable data roaming plans, such as daily unlimited data roaming packages. These plans typically charge lower rates than existing pay-as-you-use roaming services. For example, our local operators offer unlimited data roaming plans for mobile users who travel to popular ASEAN destinations like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines for a flat rate of $15 to $19 a day. These are much more affordable than pay-as-you-use services. Over the past year, some operators have also expanded their offerings so that customers can use their data packages across several ASEAN countries.
2 Madam Speaker, we believe that consumers and businesses will benefit from the various efforts to reduce roaming rates, and we will continue to do more. In November 2015, the ASEAN Ministers responsible for Telecommunications and Information Technology endorsed the proposal to develop an ASEAN Framework on International Mobile Roaming to lower international mobile roaming rates between member states.
3 The Framework aims to collectively promote transparent and affordable international mobile roaming charges in the region. Singapore has been working with other ASEAN member states to develop this Framework, which is targeted for completion by next year.
4 MCI and IMDA will continue to promote transparent and affordable mobile roaming services in ASEAN to enhance regional integration and benefit businesses and consumers in the region.