NEW DELHI: After limiting the use of SMSes to curb rumours that led to a mass exodus of people from the northeastern part of the country, the government today increased the number of SMSs to 20 per day with immediate effect.
The Ministry of Communication issued a notification which said that it has decided to revise the limit of bulk SMS/MMS to 20 instead of five.
On August 17, the government levied a ban on sending bulk SMSes and MMSes for 15 days after reports of threatening messages being sent through SMS, MMS, e-mails and postings on social media sites, to people from the northeast that they would be attacked to avenge the ethnic violence in Assam.
Earlier, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) urged that the ban on bulk SMSes should be immediately lifted as it is affecting the business of many firms, mainly small and medium enterprises.
At present there are more than 1,00,000 enterprises, mainly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), that are dependent on this medium for customer outreach which are sent out by over 3,000 registered telemarketers based on rules set by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Sources said that the August 17 nationwide ban on bulk SMS and MMS could be the last one mobile subscribers and phone companies will have to suffer.
The home ministry has started talks with the department of telecom on the feasibility of introducing curbs on bulk SMS at a regional level rather than national, in the future.
Mobile companies have estimated that the 15-day ban will cost them 7-8% of their monthly revenue that, according to one account, comes to roughly Rs. 300 crore.
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