The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a draft regulation that seeks to remove the current 50 paise charges on SMSes after the daily limit of 100 SMSes. The charge was implemented by the telecom authority to curb the spam SMSes as part of its Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations (TCCCPR).
TRAI says that the TCCCPR is technology-driven and it can curb spam messages. That’s why now there is no need for the 100 SMS limit.
Today most of the prepaid recharge plans offered by the telecom operators come with 100 daily SMS and users need to pay after they exhaust this limit. The telecom operators have been charging their customers after 100SMS mark as per the direction from TRAI.
However, the Telecommunication Tariff (65th Amendment) Order, 2020 on “Regulation of tariff for Short Message Service” released by TRAI aims to get rid of this limit. As per the report, the regulator is inviting written comments from the stakeholders by March 3, 2020, and counter comments by March 17, 2020.
To recall, the 100SMS limit is in place for a long time now. TRAI had started limiting users to 100 SMSes per day from 2012– the time when SMS packs were all the rage among college-going youngsters and also a tool of advertisement for the marketers.
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As per the regulation, for every SMS sent after the daily limit of 100 SMS, users were charged at least 50 paise per SMS. It was done in order to protect the telecom subscribers from the menace of unsolicited commercial communication.
Over the last few years, TRAI has been pushing telecom operators to introduce new ways to curb spam SMSes. Recently, the regulator asked the companies to implement new blockchain technologies in order to curb spam calls and text messages. We heard about the blockchain-based Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platform in November last year, which would make it mandatory for enterprises wanting to send promotional SMS on DND (Do Not Disturb) customers to ask for user consent every year on the platform.