According to local press reports, Singapore’s new fourth mobile operator TPG Telecom (Singapore) is embroiled in a public dispute, after it accused the city-state’s market leader Singtel of blocking number porting requests from subscribers looking to switch to its services. The Strait Times writes that the newcomer activated mobile number portability (MNP) on 5 February 2020, encouraging mobile users to port to its service, but in a Facebook post last Friday, alleged that its rival had ‘repeatedly denied all valid porting requests to TPG’. The Aussie-owned telco went on to say that Singtel’s actions prevent ‘freedom of choice’ and that it has made the relevant authorities aware of the situation.
However, Singtel wasted little time in denying the charges, saying the MNP system had been completed ‘successfully’ and that along with rivals StarHub and M1, they had written collectively to TPG on 10 February to express support for mobile number porting when TPG launches its commercial service. ‘To our knowledge, they have not launched their commercial service,’ Singtel’s post read. ‘TPG needs to give us sufficient notice of their launch so that we can implement the necessary front-line system changes and training to facilitate the service. Unfortunately, they have not responded to date.’
The move prompted TPG – which had planned to launch commercially in December 2019 but is now aiming to kick off services this year – to suspend its mobile porting service, claiming that it had done so ‘following industry discussion and coordination with incumbent mobile operators’.