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Bulk SMSes Will Now Cost More

Bulk SMSes Will Now Cost More
Telemarketing SMSes that sell you your dream home, or promise to make you healthier have been bothering most cellphone users for many years now. But only when it irked Kapil Sibal that the government agencies have decided to do something about it. TRAI has put new amendments to tackle the issue, suggesting a "zero tolerance" approach towards such bulk texts, adding that this will be "the first of the many measures" that the regulations body plans to take.

Reports suggest that these measures, which will be in place within the next 15 days will include increasing tariffs by at least 50 paise per SMS for sending over a 100 texts a day for bulk promotions, and a system to lodge complaints. The 100 SMS mark, TRAI officials claim, comes after taking into account the average number of SMSes sent by an individual. He suggests, "Our analysis shows that on an average, a person sends two SMSs a day and 47 in a month. The limit we have prescribed is much beyond this". That being said, this new rule will not apply to registered telemarketers, banks, and airlines.

However, this doesn’t mean a ban is in place for those sending over 100 texts; it just means that an SMS sent beyond this limit will be charged higher.

To further crack down spam SMSes sent using applications, the telecom watch-dog has roped in telecom operators. If more than 200 messages with text appearing in a particular pattern are sent in the span of one hour, service providers can block such accounts. This system will have to be in place within the next three months.

As for complaint-lodging, telecom operators have asked to set up an online system. TRAI further clarifies, "Whenever a new customer is enrolled for service, the access provider is required to take an undertaking from such customer in the Customer Acquisition Form that he shall not use the connection for telemarketing purpose and in case he does so, such connection shall be liable to be disconnected".

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