After the TRAI’s directive to introduce stringent fines on Telecom Operators as well as marketers, Spam calls and SMSes to Indian mobile subscribers have definitely reduced. If the earlier frequency of such smses were 10 a day, it has come down to probably 2 or 3 a day. Though, the problem of Pesky messages did not resolve completely.
The reason is that marketers found new ways to circumvent this ban. The TRAI directive was applicable to local telecom operators, but not the international ones. Marketers took advantage of this and started sending these bulk smses through international gateways. Infact, no sooner did that TRAI ruling came into effect on 27th September 2011, many companies started advertising their services of sending Bulk smses through International gateways.
TRAI has taken note of this and has now come out with yet another ruling to ban bulk international smses. To address unsolicited commercial communications and to effectively control SMS coming from international locations, TRAI today issued a direction to all the Access Providers and the operators mandating them to take the following steps, within next thirty days:
- All international SMS containing alphabet header or alphanumeric header or +91 as originating country code should not be delivered through the network.
- If any source or number from outside the country generates more than 200 SMSes per hour with similar ‘signature’, the same should not be delivered through the network.
- Only valid codes associated with the network of those entities with whom agreements have been signed by the Access Providers shall be allowed in the network.
Essentially, within next 30 days, most mobile subscribers in India should be fully Spam-SMS-Free, unless marketers find yet another way to circumvent. Though, in my personal opinion, this should be final nail in the coffin for marketers as far as sending unsolicited messages go. Even if they end up finding any other way, it would not be cost effective or feasible enough for marketers to use it!
[TRAI ruling PDF]