The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has removed a regulation that barred telecom operators from offering more than 100 free SMSes per day to customers. The change is part of the ‘Telecommunication Tariff (65th Amendment) Order 2020‘, and will enable operators to offer customers unlimited SMSes per day.
The 100 SMS limit was originally imposed in 2012 to prevent spamming. As part of the regulation, operators were required to charge 50p per SMS once users exhausted the 100 SMS limit. However, the regulator now says that it is removing the cap in the interest of ‘genuine non-commercial bulk users’. The decision came after a long consultation process with stakeholders, with TRAI hosting its first-ever ‘Open House Discussion’ (OHD) via videoconferencing.
In a statement, the telecom regulator said that the move will help strengthen the regime of tariff forbearance. “Schedule XIII of the Telecommunication Tariff Order 1999 made it obligatory for telecom service providers to charge a minimum of 50 paise per SMS for every SMS exceeding 100 SMSes per SIM per day. The deletion of Schedule XIII thus implies another step of Trai in doing away of the tariff regulation and strengthening the regime of tariff forbearance”, the agency said.
With the advent of cross-platform OTT messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, people hardly use SMSes to communicate any more. For the most part, it is used almost exclusively for commercial purposes these days. That being the case, it will be interesting to see how much this change will help general users going forward. So, do you still use SMSes? Do you thing the technology has any relevance in 2012 for most users? Let us know by leaving a note in the comments down below.