TRAI caps Free SMS limit to 100/day, pay 50 paise or more beyond that

A few days back, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had promised an action on spam SMSs from Advertisers after Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal himself became a target of it.


And today the telecom watchdog has issued a directive to all telecom operators in view to curb the menace by lowering the free SMS limit to 100 SMS/day from the previous 200 SMS/day.

TRAI has gone ahead and with the directive asked the operators to:
  • Lower the daily Free SMS limit to 100 SMS/day and put a price restraint on sending more than one hundred SMS per day per SIM at a concessional rate. So, all SMSs sent beyond the 100 SMS/day/SIM limit, shall be charged at a rate not lower than fifty paise. Operators have been given a timeframe of 15 days for implementing this.
  • To restrict the unregistered telemarketers from sending bulk promotional SMSs using software applications. Operators have been asked to put in place a solution within 3 months, which will ensure that no commercial SMSs are sent containing same or similar characters or strings or variants from any source or number. The solution will ensure that not more than 200 SMSs with such similar ‘signature’ are sent in an hour. But registered telemarketers, transactional message sending entities and telephone numbers exempted by the Authority are excluded from this provision. Normal consumers sending non-commercial SMSs will also not be affected by this measure.
  • Users can now easily lodge a complaint against an unregistered telemarketer call as the process has been made easier. Now the complaint can be registered through SMS by simply forwarding the spam SMS to 1909 after appending the telephone number and date of receipt of the SMS. Mobile operators will also need to set-up a web-based complaint registering system and a dedicated e-mail address to receive such complaints on spam messages and calls, as per the TRAI order.
  • Operators will need to spread awareness amongst its consumers and to caution against misuse by sending SMS to all customers on periodic basis, advising them not to send any commercial communications and informing them about the consequences of misuse.
  • Operators will have to take an undertaking from new customers in the Customer Acquisition Form (CAF) stating that they shall not use the connection for telemarketing purpose and in case of using the connection for telemarketing purposes, the connection shall be liable to be disconnected.

We appreciate TRAI’s move as it will surely help to curb SMS spam without restricting users to send SMS in case they want to send more than 100 SMSs (Upto 200 SMSs) in a day. What’s your take on TRAI’s new directive?