wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

, , ,

TRAI Imposes Additional Charge Of 5 Paise On Promotional SMS

The Indian telecom regulator TRAI has imposed an additional charge of Rs 0.05, known as an interconnect charge, which an ‘originating access provider’ access provider may collect from the registered telemarketer, and give to a terminating access provider. (Hat tip: Naresh M Ganwani)

What this means is that if you are a telemarketer, you need to pay Rs 0.05 extra per SMS to the telecom operator using whose network you are sending SMS’ to the customer. That telecom operator will have to make a payment to the telecom operator whose customer the recipient is. This is reminiscent of an ‘interconnect charge/ which was proposed/set up in early 2010 between Tata Teleservices and Bharti Airtel, wherein Airtel was believed to have imposed a 0.15 interconnect fee to deliver messages originating from Tata Teleservices’ network to Airtel customers. Some thoughts on the interconnect fee:

1. Airtel stands to benefit the most: it has the largest number of customers (as well as active customers), and more marketing and promotional messages – it is likely- will be directed at its base. We’ve heard that Airtel’s pipe isn’t as open to sending promotional messages as that of other operators is – Airtel has spoken out against SMS Spam in the past – so it’s likely that the company will make more money from this policy than it will have to spend. In comparison, Tata Teleservices, Loop Mobile and Aircel (where most of the messages I received were coming from), will have to make payouts.

2. Promotional Messages? Is there a difference between ‘promotional messages’ and ‘commercial communication’? All commercial communication need not be promotional in nature, so who determines what is a promotional SMS and what isn’t? If someone has actively subscribed to promotional content and SMS, or to daily deal updates on SMS – is that promotional content, or is it e-commerce info?

3. Wouldn’t this have been enough? The TRAI press release states that “However, in order to further deter the sending of promotional SMSs,the Authority has now prescribed‘a promotional SMS charge’ of Re. 0.05 (five paisa only)”. A couple of things – weren’t the SMS Spam regulations sufficient? Why increase the cost for those sending SMS, if the six strike policy isn’t enough of a deterrent?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

On the other hand, wouldn’t mandating a Rs 0.05 interconnect charge have been sufficient in the first place? As we had explained earlier, it was a change in business model that led to the increase in SMS spam in India, which substantially brought down the cost of sending SMS to lower than Rs 0.01. So an additional charge of Rs 0.05 would deter mass targeting. Isn’t the TRAI overreacting by imposing interconnect charges and restrictive and regressive SMS Spam guidelines? In our opinion, it really shouldn’t get into price determination.

In addition, Bulk SMS companies have found a way out. Riyaaz Sheikh of Xtech Infocom Pvt Ltd writes in:

“Aggregators have  chosen an escape route by choosing international telecom operators gateway which facilitates sms delivery on DO NOT DISTURB numbers without any trace of the Indian telecom operator involvement. The rates for international routing is  around 5 times higer than the prevalent  Indian operator rates which would eventually decrease as the Indian operators  contribute to the revenue of international operators by using the International gateway consistently due to increasing demand from the end customers.

Hence,the sms spam to the Indian mobile subscriber would be same as before the TRAI regulation implemented since September 27th.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

While the market reality of popular crypto-assets like Bitcoin may undergo little change, the same can't be said for stablecoins.

News

Bringing transactions related to crypto-assets within the tax net could make matters less fuzzy.

News

Loopholes in FEMA and the decentralised nature of crypto-assets point to a need for effective regulations.

News

The need of the hour is for lawmakers to understand the systems that are amplifying harmful content.

News

For drone delivery to become a reality, a permissive regulatory regime is a prerequisite.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ