UPDATED 7/3/2014: Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), Singapore’s regulator, has said the country’s mobile operators will not be allowed to block or charge a fee to subscribers who access OTT services.
The regulator’s statement come after Chua Sock Koong, group CEO at SingTel, said at last week’s Mobile World Congress that she was confident about finding a revenue stream from service differentiation and connectivity.
“Any other industry would be excited and highly optimistic given the strong demand in growth for their core services,” she said optimistically at a keynote during congress.
“However, the big problem we have as an industry is we have been unable to monetise this increased demand. ARPUs in developed markets are going down.”
SingTel has told Mobile World Live this week that it had called on the IDA to allow it to charge OTT players for using its network, not consumers.
Earlier the regulator said: “ISPs are not allowed to block legitimate internet content; neither should they impose restrictions, charges or other measures that will render any legitimate internet content effectively inaccessible or unusable.”
In addition, it said ISPs are not allowed to adopt traffic management practices that will compromise QoS standards or any anti-competitive discriminatory practice that would hurt consumers.
The regulator will keep an eye on SingTel as well as rival StarHub’s plans “to ensure that the IDA’s policies are updated and continue to protect consumers’ interests, while allowing market innovation”.