New child-friendly mobile phone service

SO you want to give your child his first mobile phone. With increasing school and extra curricular activities keeping your child away from home longer than ever and coupled with your own busy work schedule, you have decided a mobile phone is the only tool to keep communication lines open with your child during your time apart.

But how to ensure your child's safety from strangers calling, and that he or she exercises responsible phone usage with only people you have pre-approved? After all, there are enough horror stories of kids in danger from online and mobile predators.

Communication and content downloading safeguards

Singapore-based telecommunication service provider M1 has a new child-friendly service to address your concerns. Reportedly a world's first from a mobile operator, the service KidSAFE is available from 9 December 2008.

KidSAFE allows parents to ensure their child can only make/receive calls and use short messaging service (SMS) only with pre-approved phone numbers. If existing phone book numbers require to be changed, or new ones to be added, a 6-digit parent pin is required. These measures ensure strangers will not be able to get connected if they try to call or use theSMS.


In other words, parents get to decide who their child can communicate with on their mobile phone. With such safeguards, parents have control over what their children are viewing and downloading on their phones. Your child is also less likely to access chargeable mobile services (eg 1900) unintentionally and potentially chalk up hefty phone bills.

Furthermore, internet restriction on a KidSAFE mobile phone minimizes the chances of exposing children to violent and pornographic content.

"With more children starting to use mobile phones at a younger age, we hope parents will find KidSAFE useful and timely in addressing some of their security and safety concerns. It is also an excellent tool for parents to teach their children responsibility in using the mobile phone," said P. Subramaniam, M1's Chief Marketing Officer.


How to get this service

At present, M1 offers it only with the Samsung SGH E200 mobile phone, and it requires a special KidSAFE SIM card. You must also subscribe to M1'sSunShare Plan or M1 D.I.Y. Plan.