The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued Telecommunication Tariff Order 2020. With this, the sector regulator has scrapped the Schedule XIII of the Telecommunication Tariff Order 1999 which had made it obligatory for telecom service providers to charge a minimum of 50 paisa per SMS for SMS exceeding 100 SMSs per SIM per day.
According to TRAI, the deletion of Schedule XIII implies doing away of the tariff regulation and strengthening the regime of tariff forbearance.
Further, the sector regulator has also cited the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulation, 2018 (TCCCPR 2018), which had made it mandatory for telcos to seek subscriber consent for receiving unsolicited commercial communications (UCC) from telemarketers.
Commenting on the matter, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that the present system does not have strong enough disincentives for those UTs who would try and game the system and bypass its customer safeguards. The present limit of 100 SMSs a day would in no way inconvenience any legitimate customer who never reaches the cap of 100 SMSs in a day.