The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday deleted the obligatory clause for telecom service providers to charge a minimum of 50 paise per SMS for every SMS exceeding 100 SMS per SIM per SIM day.
The schedule XIII of the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 made it obligatory for all TSPs to charge the amount. The regulator states that its move is a testament of its desire to do away with the tariff regulation and strengthen the regime of tariff forbearance.
The deletion of the clause comes after elaborate consultation process between the stakeholders who placed comments and counter comments. The telecom watchdog also held an first ever Open House Discussion through videoconferencing recently to discuss the issue. This provided the stakeholders to express their opinion and share their valuable views.
The Schedule XIII was introduced in 2012 with it meant to serve as a complimentary safeguard to the provisions of the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulation, 2010 (TCCCPR 2010) to curb the menace of unsolicited commercial communication. In 2018, TCCCPR 2010 was replaced with TCCCPR 2018 which was technology driven to detect the UCC. Given the comphtehensiveness of the UCC, TRAI has now done away with the tariff regulation which it felt could potentially affect the interests of genuine non-commercial bulk users of SMS.