TRAI imposes 5 paise deterrant for pesky messages

October 25th, 2011 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Tuesday said it will impose a termination charge of 5 paise per SMS on operators from whose networks commercial messages originate in a move to further curb pesky messages from nagging customers.

“In order to further deter the sending of promotional SMSs, the authority has now prescribed a promotional SMS charge of five paisa only payable by an originating access provider to the terminating access provider for each promotional SMS sent by a registered telemarketer from the network of the originating access provider to the network of the terminating access provider,” TRAI said in a statement.

The government had introduced a regulation last month which barred unwanted commercial calls and messages from disturbing mobile subscribers by levying huge penalties on the defaulters, including fines ranging from Rs.25,000 to Rs.250,000.

To make the telemarketing firms identifiable, the regulation also ensured that their phone numbers begin with ‘140′.

However, after silence of a couple of weeks, the pesky messages have again started nagging customers. According to reports, many of these messages are generated online.

Earlier this month, confirming that even after Sep 27 a certain amount of pesky messages were circulating in the country, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal had said that these messages were generated by internet and therefore the government so far had no mechanism to control them.

However according to the regulator, transactional messages are exempted from this regulation.

Such messages include SMSes sent by e-commerce agencies or by firms registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA), Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), National Commodity & Derivative Exchange Ltd. (NCDEX) or Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) to its clients and goods delivery confirmation SMSes.

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