The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has further amended customer preference and tariff regulations in order to curb the increasing menace of unsolicited commercial SMSs by unregistered telemarketers.
TRAI today released `The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Tenth Amendment) Regulations, 2012' and Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Fourth Amendment) Order, 2012 prescribing further measures to tighten the framework for controlling the menace of unsolicited commercial communications (UCC), especially relating to commercial SMS from unregistered telemarketers.
The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Tenth Amendment) Regulations, 2012 has been issued to further tighten the regulatory framework, especially relating to commercial SMS from unregistered telemarketers.
A present, service providers offer a large number of concessional SMS packs and tariff plans for bulk SMS users. Unregistered telemarketers misuse these SMS packs and tariff plans to send promotional SMSs to consumers. To prevent unregistered telemarketers from misusing such SMS packs or tariff plans for sending bulk promotional SMSs, the amendment places a price restraint on sending of more than one hundred SMSs per day per SIM at a concessional rate.
The subscriber is free to send SMSs beyond this number, but all such SMSs sent beyond the one hundred per day per SIM limit will be charged at a rate not lower than the rate prescribed by the authority. TRAI, through the Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Fourth Amendment) Order, 2012 has prescribed a tariff of minimum 50 paise for such SMSs beyond the limit of 100 SMS per day per SIM. The changes effected by the regulations and the order have to be implemented within fifteen days.
To restrict unregistered telemarketers from sending bulk promotional SMSs using software applications, access providers have been mandated to put in place, within three months, a solution, which will ensure that no commercial SMSs are sent having 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. However, 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.