Singapore telcos can't charge extra for 4G

Singapore telcos can't charge extra for 4G

Dylan Bushell-Embling  |   April 25, 2014
Singapore's mobile operators have been instructed not to charge extra for 4G data services to customers under existing contracts.
Regulator IDA Singapore has announced that after contacting StarHub, SingTel and M1, all three operators have agreed not to charge 4G service prices for customers under current contracts.
IDA started investigating the issue after StarHub announced it planned to start charging its SmartSurf customers an additional S$2.14 ($1.70) per month to use 4G data services from June.
During the investigation, it determined that there is “significant consumer confusion over the service plans they signed up for.”
While the operators have positioned 4G data services as value added services under their advertising and conditions, they have been offering the services for free as a promotional play. StarHub had planned to end the promotional discount in June.
But IDA said under Singapore's telecom regulations, operators must be upfront about the key terms and conditions prior to service sign-up, and should not change prices mid-way through a contract if they were not clear about what the price hikes might be.
In a statement, StarHub insisted it had always been upfront about the terms and limited duration of its 4G promotion, but added that the company has decided to extend the free 4G service promotion “after careful consideration.”
The regulator did not take issue with classifying 4G data services as VAS, suggesting that operators will be free to charge extra for new customers or those renewing their contracts.
Dylan Bushell-Embling


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