|Allow customers to keep mobile number when converting to pre-paid plan
PUBLISHED. SEP 21, 2016, 6:31 PM SGT
While mobile subscribers are able to retain their phone numbers when they convert from a pre-paid plan to a post-paid plan, they cannot do so when converting the other way.
I hope the Infocomm Development Authority will work with the telcos here to enable this mobile number portability.
Lim Tong Wah
|Low demand for post-paid to pre-paid number porting
PUBLISHED. OCT 7, 2016, 4:04 PM SGT
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) requires mobile service providers to offer post-paid to post-paid number porting and pre-paid to pre-paid number porting between service providers ("Allow customers to keep mobile number when converting to pre-paid plan" by Mr Lim Tong Wah; Forum Online, Sept 21).
This requirement has been in place since 1997 and 2008 respectively. It allows consumers to switch service providers with greater ease, as well as facilitate competition.
IMDA notes that the current demand for post-paid to pre-paid number porting (and vice versa) is low.
Hence, if IMDA requires that mobile service providers implement post-paid to pre-paid number porting when the demand is low, the cost of implementation may be passed on to consumers, leading to higher charges.
Thus, IMDA would let mobile service providers offer this service option commercially, in response to market demand.
Ann Chan (Ms)
Regulatory and Corporate Communications
Infocomm Media Development Authority
|Number porting: Is it low demand if option is unavailable?
PUBLISHED NOV 22, 2016, 5:50 PM SGT
Besides the concerns raised by Dr Gil Simon Schneider ("2G network shutdown will be costly for users of basic phones"; Nov 14), there is another practice by telcos which is not favourable to the weaker segment of society.
This is the portability of mobile phone numbers from post-paid to pre-paid plans.
Currently, telcos allow number portability only when there is an "upgrade" of services, such as from pre-paid to post-paid, but not for a "downgrade".
Ms Ann Chan of the then Media Development Authority has said that telcos are not required to implement post-paid to pre-paid porting, as the demand is low and the cost of implementation may be passed on to consumers, leading to higher charges ("Low demand for post-paid to pre-paid number porting"; Forum Online, Oct 7).
However, I wonder if demand really is low, given that consumers are not offered that option at all.
I understand that some administrative costs will be incurred, but most consumers would not mind paying a small fee for such portability.
With uncertain economic conditions and ageing populations, subscribers have to prioritise their spending, including phone use.
The infrastructure to port numbers is already there. Consumers should be offered the option to port numbers from post-paid to pre-paid.
Ong See Fong