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Asia gets flat-rate data roaming plan

New roaming charge across 11 operator networks aims to alleviate customer confusion and help mobile subscribers better manage their expenses.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Bridge Alliance, formerly known as Bridge Mobile Alliance, launched today two flat-rate mobile data roaming plans across 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The alliance, made up of 11 mobile operators, will be offering two roaming subscription plans: US$30 for 15MB and US$60 for 40MB.

The 11 operators are Airtel (India), AIS (Thailand), CSL (Hong Kong), CTM (Macau), Globe Telecom (Philippines), Maxis (Malaysia), SK Telecom (Korea), SingTel Mobile (Singapore), SingTel Optus (Australia), Taiwan Mobile (Taiwan) and Telkomsel (Indonesia).

According to a statement, mobile users can subscribe through local operators that are members of the alliance, and have the data plans charged to their local mobile contracts. Out of the 11 operators, only CTM in Macau is excluded at present, which means users from other mobile networks can roam with the plan on CTM, but not CTM's subscribers.

The plans aim to present a way for subscribers to have predictable data roaming expenses.

Lim Chuan Poh, Bridge Alliance's chairman, said: "Bridge DataRoam is priced at a level that will bring about a sense of 'peace of mind' when our customers access their e-mails and other data services while traveling in the region."

However, should a user exceed the data usage on his plan, data roaming charges from the respective network he is roaming on will apply.

The plans are available on SingTel immediately, with Airtel, AIS, Globe Telecom, Maxis, Taiwan Mobile and Telkomsel slated to announce theirs within the month of November. CSL and SK Telecom will follow suit in December, while SingTel Optus has said it will begin rolling out at an unspecified time next year.

Bridge Alliance was formed in November 2004 and announced its new name today.

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