Govt. ban on bulk SMSes could cause 7-8 percent loss to operators: COAI
The government's decision to ban bulk SMSes and MMSes has raised concerns that the telecom operators could end up bearing loss up to 8 percent. According to Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan S Mathews, SMSes and other data service amount up to 15 percent revenue for the operators and that a ban of 15 days means operators could lose up to 7-8 percent revenue this month.
Mathews, however, added that “all the members will definitely make every effort to abide by the rules, as national security and human lives are at stake.”
Earlier, the government imposed a ban on SMSes and MMSes (starting August 18) to stem spread of rumours that led to mass exodus of people of North Eastern people staying in certain parts of the country. The government learnt that the SMSes were circulated to spread panic and confusion among the people.
Confusion had prevailed over the weekend that the restriction meant a user cannot send more than five messages in one go. The government later cleared the air, saying the ban on bulk SMSes means a user cannot send more than five SMSes in a day.
Users trying to send the sixth message have reportedly received a message that reads : 'Due to Govt. directives, More than 5 SMS per day are blocked. Please retry tomorrow. Anticipate your co-operation'.
The nationwide ban has adversely affected prepaid users, who constitute more than 90 percent of the total 930 million mobile subscriber base of the country. Post-paid users have been kept away from the restriction. However, transactional SMSes such as from banks, airlines, railways, brokerages, radio taxis, entertainment portals & multiplex chains have also been exempted from the restriction.
The government cap on SMSes has upset several texters with many terming the restriction as an attempt to curb their right to freedom of expression.
Users can bypass the restriction by using various free chatting applications such as WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger, Nimbuzz and ChatOn.
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