Trai relaxes rules for telemarketing messages

NEW DELHI: Registered telemarketers can send more than 100 text messages a day on each SIM, however, they will have to pay an additional five paisa per message to the network operators.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also lifted the cap on banks and insurers providing information to customers, and companies communicating with employees about the delivery of goods and services.

“The limit of 100 SMS per day per SIM shall not apply to a telemarketer or entity sending transactional messages,” Trai said in ‘The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Seventh Amendment) Regulations, 2011’. 

A charge on telemarketers would increase network operators’ revenues from 0.5-1 paisa per SMS to 5.5-6 paisa, according to the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI). But the charge would not affect contracts agreed previously between operators and agencies sending commercial messages.

Trai had issued “The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010” on 1 December 2010. All the provisions of these regulations came into force from 27 September 2011. 

In these regulations, the Authority specified a number of deterrent measures to stop commercial SMSs to telecom consumers who have registered themselves with the National Customer Preference Register. But the charge of 0.5 paisa has been prescribed as a promotional charge to deter the sending of SMSs.

The Authority has also allowed transactional message sending entities to send transactional messages without registering as telemarketer with Trai. The Authority has also mandated that these entities will have to enter into a standard agreement with their access providers for obtaining any telecom resources and has exempted the transactional message sending entities from the limit of 100 SMS per day per SIM.

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