The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI released a draft regulation that seeks to remove the 100 daily SMS limit on the users. Currently, all the prepaid recharge packs from Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea offering daily data benefits also come with 100 daily SMS but users are charged for SMS after they exhaust this limit.
TelecomTalk reported that TRAI's Telecommunication Tariff (65th Amendment) Order, 2020 on "Regulation of tariff for Short Message Service" seeks to get rid of 50 paise charge on messages sent after the daily limit of 100 SMSes. As per the report, the telecom regulator is inviting written comments from the stakeholders by March 3, 2020, and counter comments by March 17, 2020.
Why was 100 SMS limit introduced?
TRAI had implemented the 100 SMS limit a long time ago in 2012 to curb the menace of spam SMS. In the era when WhatsApp was not as popular as it is today, SMSes were the primary source of conversations after calling. However, it was also used by marketing agencies to bombard users with unsolicited commercial communication or (UCC).
As part of its Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations (TCCCPR), TRAI imposed 100 SMS limit that overpowered the SMS vouchers at the time. After the new rules came into effect, users were charged at 50 paise per SMS after reaching the 100 SMS mark
Why there's no need for SMS limit?
TRAI says that there is no need for the 100 SMS limit because the TCCCPR technology is capable enough to curb spam messages.
The telecom regulatory body has been working for years to control the UCC. Over the last few years, it has been pushing telecom operators to introduce new ways to curb spam SMSes and recently, it asked the telecom companies to implement new blockchain technologies to stop the menace.
It was reported in November last year that TRAI had come up with blockchain-based Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platform to control the enterprises wanting to send promotional SMSes. The platform was believed to come into effect within months and it would need companies to ask for user consent every year to send them promotional text messages.