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Next time, ban on SMS may be only at regional level
Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 23, 2012
First Published: 00:04 IST(23/8/2012)
Last Updated: 00:07 IST(23/8/2012)
A Nokia cellphone

The ongoing nationwide ban on bulk SMS and MMS could be the last one mobile subscribers and phone companies will have to suffer.

The home ministry has started talks with the department of telecom on the feasibility of introducing curbs on bulk SMS at a regional level rather than national, in the future.

Besides the loss of revenue to mobile companies, officials said the view was that a ban across the country was often unnecessary, since the problem was limited to a few states only.

Mobile companies have estimated that the 15-day ban will cost them 7-8% of their monthly revenue that, according to one account, comes to roughly Rs. 300 crore.

The nationwide ban was imposed last Friday to prevent subscribers from sending more than more text messages at one go.

In some instances, pre-paid subscribers, however, complained that they were unable to send more than five messages in a day.

“A regional ban is not as effective, but a national ban might have served the purpose in this case,” officials said.

Officials conceded that the government took some time to respond to the role that bulk text messages had played in triggering the scare that drove thousands of people from Karnataka.

This time-lag will be considerably reduced once the government sets up the central communications monitoring centre, which will enable single-point interception of phone calls and analysis of phone as well as the pattern of text messages.


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