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Singapore, US Sign Telecom Regulatory Policy Collaboration

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In conjunction with the Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, Spain, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Singaporean Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been signed to improve bilateral collaboration between both parties.

With regards to telecommunications regulatory policies, the MoU seeks to strengthen bilateral collaboration dealing with information sharing and regulatory collaboration in newly emerging communication and networking fields. In the area of telecommunications, IMDA and the FCC will also look at technological collaboration and capacity building.

Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive of IMDA, asserts that regulatory cooperation and alignment are essential to creating a framework that supports the development of the digital economy and inclusive digital societies.

IMDA is eager to collaborate with similarly minded regulators, such as the FCC, to increase their capacity as a group to respond quickly to changing connectivity and technology-related challenges. “This will enable us to push global norms forward and build a better digital future,” says Lew Chuen.

In addition, the FCC Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, stated that the United States and Singapore have a long-standing collaboration that is significant and vast in scope. She expressed her excitement at the opportunity to officially extend the alliance into the realm of telecommunications thanks to the collaboration between the IMDA and the FCC.

She also extended her gratitude to IMDA, stating that there is so much that they can do together to support robust economies and safe communities, ranging from satellite communications to spectrum management, protecting consumers to fostering secure networks.

Meanwhile, OpenGov Asia earlier reported that as part of the steps announced by IMDA in October of last year, all organisations sending SMS with alphanumeric Sender IDs must register with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (“SSIR”). This registration is intended to protect customers from potentially fraudulent SMS messages that are not registered. Hence, beginning on 31 January 2023, unregistered SMS will be labelled “Likely-SCAM.”

This is similar to a “spam filter and spam bin.” Customers may get unregistered SMS messages with the designation “Likely-SCAM.” It is urged that consumers take caution. If consumers are uncertain, they are recommended to consult with family and friends. Together, this will strengthen the resistance to fraud.

All organisations that employ alphanumeric Sender IDs are required to register with the SSIR in advance. This is to allow sufficient time, as SMS Sender IDs not registered by January 31st, will be labelled “Likely-SCAM.” Companies who have not registered their Sender IDs are encouraged to do so.

More than 1,200 organisations with more than 2,600 SMS Sender IDs have registered as of January 2023. This includes banking institutions, e-commerce operators, logistics providers, and SMEs registered with the SSIR and sending SMS to their clients.

The new required SSIR regime is a component of an ongoing multi-layered strategy to enhance protection against fraud. This has been done in conjunction with the telecom operators to limit the number of fraudulent calls and text messages entering the communication networks.

Scam prevention is a community-wide endeavour, and the public must maintain vigilance. Even as citizens continue to monitor and apply additional precautions, scammers will continue to alter their methods and strategies, and there is no foolproof way.

The key to this struggle is a discerning public, where consumers are individually vigilant and raise collective awareness by sharing scam-prevention recommendations with friends and family. IMDA assures citizens to continue to collaborate with other stakeholders to combat fraud.


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