Government declares ban on Bulk SMS and MMS yet again, for 15 days.

With a view to counter the spread of rumours and control the migration of north-eastern people from certain states, the government banned sending of Bulk SMS and MMS for 15 days. The regulation came into effect on 17th August, 2012, restricting delivery of more than 5 SMS. As a result, there is a growing discontent among those who use SMS more often than any other way of communication. One of the reasons is that there is unclarity in the regulation due to no mention whether the ban is for 5 SMS per day, or adding more than 5 recipients while sending single SMS. Also, it has not been made clear whether the regulation is for P2P segment or A2P.

The regulation widely got interpreted as ban on promotional messages sent by Bulk SMS Providers in A2P segment, and only on pre-paid connections under P2P segment, as the postpaid connections are guided by technical limitations on GSM/CDMA system. While this regulation is implemented to keep intact the national security and integration, the effect has been more non-constructive in fulfilling the purpose, inviting following criticism:

  • Many are of the opinion that it is rightful on their part to receive a notification about cab or ticket bookings. The categorization of message being ‘transactional or promotional’ ought to be taken into consideration.
  • Through the ban, though the government was trying to address the viral effect of text messages, the regulation ignores the fact that data-based messaging applications equally facilitate exchange of information including multimedia content.
  • Rather than curbing down of SMS, the same should have been used productively by spreading across the message about false rumors.
While IAMAI has issued its own statement on SMS ban, it is certain that the preference for other mediums such as Email and voice services will go up. On the concluding lines, we can admit that such directives have limited benefit in cases that are as crucial and mass appealing as the current one, given the fact that other lines of communication are available for temporary purpose, if not permanent.

3 thoughts on “Government declares ban on Bulk SMS and MMS yet again, for 15 days.

  1. The 15 days ban on bulk sms in India had brought communication to a standstill. The reason behind this limit was the sending of bulk SMS’es from other states spreading rumors about vacating North-Eastern states. But now there is a good news, it has been lifted.

  2. Bulk sms and mms are the means to get to the general public for your products. This is the cheapest means to get your product and services known to the people and get capture the market.
    These bans really affect the market. Many entrepreneurs go in loss and it hence forth brings market to a loss. But still after this got over people again started to work in the market.

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