Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in order to reduce SMS spamming had passed the sixth amendment regulation of 100 SMS per day to be implemented from 27th September, 2011. Mobile Operators like Reliance Communication (GSM and CDMA), Bharti Airtel have implemented Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference’s sixth amendment regulation.
GSM Operator’s organization Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had requested TRAI to reconsider the regulation claiming that this would challenge the rights of a subscriber. Unfortunately TRAI has decided to stick to its decision of capping per day messaging to 100 SMS for all subscribers. Therefore, from now onwards free messaging will be limited to 100 SMS per day. Any message beyond that shall be charged at normal rates. The motive behind it is to control the spam text messaging of tele-marketers.
Bharti Airtel, India’s largest Mobile Service operator and Reliance Communications, another leading operator in the country have become the first operators to implement the new SMS regulation. They have messaged the notification to all their subscribers in various telecom circles about the latest TRAI amendment.
Bharti Airtel notifications to its subscribers reads:
“As per TRAI Regulation Your Current SMS Pack benefits have been revised effective today. You can now send maximum 100 SMS/Day.”
The new limit of 100 SMS per day is not applicable on SMS blackout days or on festivals. The subscribers on such occasions are free to send unlimited messages at normal or premium SMS charges.
Train has also restricted the commercial SMS communication hours for service providers from 9 hours to 21 hours, which clearly means no irritating advertisements at night.
The TRAI regulation includes:
- Every Access Provider shall withdraw before the 26th September, 2011 all telecom resources allocated to a telemarketer except those telecom resources which have been allocated in accordance with the provisions of the regulations.
- Every Access Provider shall ensure that any commercial communication including SMS, other than transactional messages, is sent to a customer only between 0900 Hrs to 2100 Hrs
- No Access Provider shall permit sending of more than one hundred SMS per day per SIM. Provided that in case of post paid telephone number the Access Provider shall not permit more than three thousand SMS per SIM per month. Provided further that in case of post paid telephone number, the Access Provider shall not permit sending of more than one hundred SMS per day per SIM from a date to be notified by the Authority.
After the subscriber crosses the limit of 100 SMSs in a day it is expected that thereafter message sending shall fail. But according to one of the Airtel customers on sending the 101th message he received a template saying, “Last SMS Charge 1.00 INR, Current balance 11.06 INR. Dear Customer you have used 100 sms out of 100 sms daily limit, as per TRAI regulation.” No operator as yet has given any clarifications on this note.
Now the question is, is the system of 100 SMS/day justified? Will it really affect the communication of heavy SMS users when applications like BBM and Whatsapp and Nimbuzz exist that allow non-stop chatting without any TRAI regulations? such application users must feel free to convey their opinions via comments.