Fixed-line telephone subscription and call rates to be revised from 1 January 2009
First rate revision in 18 years
$1 million worth of vouchers available to those in need
Singapore, 6 October 2008 -- Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) today announced its first rate revision in 18 years for its fixed-line telephone subscription and call charges.
Starting 1 January 2009, fixed-line telephone customers will pay an additional $10 a year in subscription rates, representing a modest increase of 83 cents a month. With this revision, residential customers will pay $110 per annum and business customers will pay $160*.
Call charges will increase to 0.8 cents from 0.7 cents per 30-second block during peak hours and per 60-second block during off-peak hours. To reflect changes in call traffic patterns, peak hours will be revised to 9am to 7pm from 8am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays. Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays are off-peak.
With the new rates, most customers will pay not more than an additional $1.50 a month.
Singtel has previously been able to hold off any rate increase through productivity improvement and network rationalisation by reducing the number of exchange buildings.
Mr Allen Lew, Singtel’s CEO Singapore, said: “We have held off rate revisions for 18 years despite rising costs. Over the years, the two main cost components, manpower and materials, have increased substantially. The recent rapid increase in utility costs has also pushed up our running costs.’’
The average annual wage increased 52 per cent in the period 1997 to 2007, according to the Ministry of Manpower. The cost of copper, a key material component in the fixed-line network, tripled from 1991 to 2007, according to the benchmark London Metal Exchange.
“While we are committed to delivering affordable and good quality fixed-line services, the service must remain sustainable. Singtel is among the last remaining operators in this region to revise telephone charges. With this adjustment, our charges continue to be one of the lowest in this region,” Mr Lew added.
Singtel will provide $1 million worth of credit vouchers, each worth $10, to help households that need financial assistance. Residents who need assistance can approach their Citizens’ Consultative Committees or People’s Association grassroots leaders.
Mr Lew said: “We hope to cushion the effect of the rate revisions on our customers by providing $1 million worth of credit vouchers to those who need financial assistance.”
In addition, fixed-line residential customers who sign up for both Singtel’s electronic bill statement (www.singtel.com/myBill) and GIRO before 31 March 2009 will enjoy a one-time $10 discount on their annual subscription.
*The revised call charges and peak-hour period will also apply to the following business services: ISDN 2, ISDN 10, ISDN 30, PhoneNet, i-PhoneNet, Meg@POP i-PhoneNet, Meg@POP SIP Trunking and Level 3 VoiceLink.
All charges are before GST.
Telephone subscriptions are billed in advance on a quarterly basis. Residential customers who receive their bill in October for the three-month period November 2008 to January 2009 will see an increase in subscription for the month of January.