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September 21, 2011

TRAI will cap SMS to 100 per day from 27 sep

Make sure that you draw up the list of who you want to wish this Dussehra very carefully since the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has decided to cap the number of text messages that you can send every day at 100.

The new set of rules has ostensibly been framed to check telemarketers from bombarding you with unwanted messages from sauna belts to real estate deals but it will end up putting curbs on how many SMSes you send from your phone.

With the cap coming into effect from September 27, several mobile users would have to resort to making phone calls instead of sending out text messages, seen to be less intrusive. Besides, many who pay up to Rs 100 a month to get a daily dose of free text messages would now see a sharp rise in their phone bills as these schemes would no longer be valid.

Although there are several mobile phone users who send more than 100 messages a day, the regulator and government officials are unwilling to buy this and argue that this is the best way to deal with pesky calls-a menace that Trai as well as the government have been unable to tackle for years.

What's more, telecom operators say that it may be tough to monitor if the 3,000 SMS a month cap for postpaid subscribers is adhered to or not. "In case of prepaid users, you can monitor it on a day-today basis but for postpaid customers , you will look at the number at the end of the month," said Rajan S Mathews , director general of COAI. Trai chairman J S Sarma could not be reached for comment .

Earlier this month, the telecom regulator mandated that commercial communications be sent between 9 am and 9 pm to all subscriberswhether registered for the National Do Not Call Registry or not. For those who opt to be under the 'fully blocked' category, a telemarketer cannot disturb you.

Alternatively, you can opt for the facility which allows you to access information on any of the seven segments-banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication and entertainment, tourism and leisure.

An exception will be made in case of transaction-related messages such as those from banks, insurance companies, railways, airlines or telecom service providers for providing information related to customers or passengers.

Companies have been mandated to register with telecom service providers who would assign them numbers in the 140 series. "What if the 101st message is in an emergency?" asks COAI's Mathews.

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