Singapore and Brunei Agree on Lower Roaming Rates

Singapore and Brunei Darussalam telco subscribers can expect lower roaming rates when visiting each others’ country next year. Brunei Darussalam Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar signed an agreement with Singapore Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts His Excellency Dr Yaacob Ibrahim last week.

Singapore and Brunei agree to reduce roaming charges for each others' telco subscribers.

Singapore and Brunei agree to reduce roaming charges for each other's telco subscribers. (Image: Shutterstock)

The two ministers announced the agreement at the Ministerial Forum, held during the annual Infocomm Media Business Exchange 2012 last week. Both countries pledged to reduce the prevailing mobile phone roaming rates for each other’s telco subscribers by the first quarter of 2013. This includes sms messaging, calls and data charges.

Singapore and Brunei Darussalam have always enjoyed strong ties diplomatically, commercially and defensively. The Singapore Dollar and Brunei Dollar can be used interchangeably in either country for 45 years now. In continuing the buildup of bilateral ties, the Ministers have tasked the telecoms regulators of Brunei and Singapore to work with mobile operators to reduce roaming rates.

Minister Bakar sees this agreement benefiting users and the telco industry.

Brunei Darussalam is really looking forward to further progress in this arrangement. With the reduction in voice, SMS and data roaming services charges between the two countries, international mobile roaming services can be utilized in a more efficient and beneficial manner by our users. It will also spur further growth in the mobile industry

Minister Ibrahim sees reinforcement of ties between the two nations.

Brunei and Singapore enjoy a long history of warm friendship with strong cooperation in a wide range of issues of mutual interests, including infocomm issues. This collaboration seeks to provide cross-border communication at a lower cost for the people of Brunei and Singapore. It would also enhance and reduce the cost of doing business between the two countries.

Telco operators from both countries will work with each other and review the charges. Different components make up a mobile roaming charge and different telcos have individual ways of charging said price components. This is Brunei’s first foray into the practice of reducing international mobile roaming charges. Singapore has a similar agreement with Malaysia since May 2011, where Singapore subscribers in Malaysia spend 30% less for roaming voice calls and 50% less for roaming sms messages.