In its effort to stop the menace of unwanted communication, telecom regulator Trai today said that as of now, there is no plan to do away the restriction of 100 SMSes per SIM per day for all subscribers, except on special occasions like Diwali, Eid or other festivals.
"In order to curb the menace of pesky calls and messages, as of now, this (recommendation of limit of hundred SMS per day per SIM) will be applicable to all users. If in future some problem arises, we will see the things," a Trai source said.
Trai's clarification comes within days of telecom operators' lobby COAI asking the regulator to reconsider its recommendation to limit the number of SMSes per sim to 100 per day, saying that such a regulation may pose a potential challenge to the "fundamental rights" of an ordinary subscriber.
There are several instances where SMSes are an important mode of communication. There could be a situation where a customer has exhausted the limit and suddenly some emergency occurs. Due to this artificial restriction, the safety of the subscriber may be jeopardised, COAI director general Rajan S Mathews said in a letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) last week.
On September 5, after much delay, Trai had come out with recommendations to stop pesky calls and text messages from September 27, ordering that no access provider (operators) shall permit the transmission of more than 100 SMSes per day per SIM.
Sources further added that this limit will not be applicable on "blackout days" (festive occasions), when the customer is free to send as many messages he wants.
In the case of post-paid telephone numbers, the access provider shall not permit more than 3,000 SMSes per SIM per month, Trai recommendations added.
All those subscribers that have registered with the National Customer Preference Registry, earlier known as the 'Do Not Call Registry', would get relief from all commercial communications, Trai said.
Trai had last year recommended the imposition of a maximum fine of Rs 2.5 lakh on telemarketing companies for making unsolicited calls or SMSes to a consumer registered under the NCPR -- a modified version of Trai's 'Do Not Call Registry' list.
Subscribers have the option of choosing to be under the 'Fully Blocked' category, which is akin to the 'Do Not Call Registry'. If a user select the 'Partially Blocked' category, they will receive SMSes in categories chosen by them.
Trai has identified eight categories -- banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication and entertainment, tourism and leisure -- of unwanted calls in the National Consumer Preference Registry.
For registering under the fully blocked list through SMS, a customer will have to SMS 'START 0' to 1909.