At the same time, M1 will be freely exchanging all existing CDMA phones for Nokia 3330 handsets. (On further queries, M1 spokesperson Chua Swee Kiat said that those interested in other phone models will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)
According to a statement by the mobile operator, CDMA customers will be able to retain their mobile numbers, and continue on with the current S$18 monthly subscription and airtime rates of between S$0.04 and S$0.18 per minute.
Customers will also be getting free value-added GSM services, including up to 400 free outgoing Short Message Service (SMS) messages a month, M1 Email, Conference Call and Info-on-Demand.
Although the telco had originally planned to move its CDMA customers to a new GSM 1800 network by year end, the earlier migration will see customers move to a GSM 900 instead, said Chua.
"The challenge for M1 has been to offer our customers who are affected by the closure of the CDMA network an alternative that gives them the most benefits and the least inconvenience. This generous GSM package certainly meets such an objective and the expectations of our CDMA customers," noted M1 CEO Neil Montefiore in the statement.
Letters detailing the migration plan are currently being sent out in batches, the statement added.
M1 expects to shut down its CDMA network by September on completing the migration exercise. The move follows the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore request late last year that M1 move out of its CDMA spectrum to make way for third generation (3G) services.
Singapore expects a nationwide rollout of 3G services by December 2004. In April this year, M1, Singapore Telecom Mobile Pte Ltd and StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd were given their 3G licenses for S$100 million each.