The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a second amendment related to the exemption from the limit of two hundred SMS per SIM per day for non-commercial communications services category, adding new sevices Jaxtr SMS, Hike, and Latlong, to the list that already includes social networking and messaging services such as Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, LinkedIn, GooglePlus, SMS GupShup, Talk.to, Ibibo, Nokia Life Tools, txtweb, Fropper, for sending SMS to its members related to their account activity based on their verifiable option.
JaxtrSMS is the revamped version of Jaxtr, an Internet Telephony startup which was acquired by Sabeer Bhatia’s SabSe Technologies in June 2009. JaxtrSMS allows users to send national and international text messages for free, and we had heard that it was facing hiccups following the TRAI regulations. Latlong is ONZE Technologies’ location based service which offers landmark based driving directions in Bangalore and Chennai on SMS via the 9008890088 long-code.
Hike is Bharti Softbank’s third venture (Kavin Bharti Mittal tweeted about its launch) and appears to be a mobile messaging service. We were able to register but the company’s opening access for users who invite more friends. It also offers rewards as users invite more friends to the service. Looks like it’s starting with an Android app, but that’s all that we know about it.
As we had mentioned earlier, we’re not in favour of the TRAI acting as a gatekeeper for registration to allow provisioning of services; arbitrariness leads to business uncertainty. There should be a mechanism where-in following the subscriber’s consent, a service provider should be able to send service messages even if the subscriber is registered under NDNC.