A Simple Text Message Makes the Operators Locked Horns

By November 21st, 2012 AT 3:11 PM

A Simple Text Message Makes the Operators Locked HornsIndian mobile operators are in a tussle as some of them are disconnecting SMS interconnection from other operators. And as usual the subscribers are in a mess at the end. The issues have been started since Diwali, when Airtel blocked incoming SMS from Reliance and Aircel on the ground of spamming their network.

Currently the SMS interconnection is mandated by TRAI, but the termination charge is not decided by TRAI, it can be negotiated between two operators. Now both Airtel and Vodafone is asking 10p per SMS for termination charge.

Airtel – Reliance Communications

Airtel blocked all SMS from RCom networks as Airtel explained that Rcom’s free SMS offering was spamming its network. Later Airtel re-allow SMS from Reliance Communications after telecom tribunal gave a ruling.

Airtel – Aircel

It is a long dispute as Airtel blocked texts from Aircel network before Diwali on the ground of spamming network. Later Airtel claims Rs 25 crore as SMS termination charge from Aircel at the rate of 10 paisa per SMS. Aircel did say the payment is too high and moved to Supreme Court against Airtel. Aircel is not charging for undelivered SMS to Airtel numbers for this period.

Vodafone – Tata Docomo

In the latest SMS dispute Vodafone started restriction on SMS coming from Tata Teleservices networks (both GSM and CDMA) as Vodafone claims that TTL must pay Rs 188 crore as SMS termination charge at the rate of 10paisa per SMS. TDSAT ordered Vodafone not to take such action till it hears the plea of TTL.

It is quite funny that these operators are all going to courts, while TRAI who finalize the termination charges on voice calls, is still not coming with a firm solution to prevent such anti-consumer moves by industry’s top players. Interestingly TRAI can easily cut down the termination charge on voice calls to counter-act operators’ hike on voice tariff.

Indian courts headed by aged lawmen don’t understand young generation’s need and always mess up this thing. Already Delhi Court ruled to allow maximum 100 SMS per day per SIM with SMS pack and post 100 SMS it is to be charged at higher price for the sake of preventing pesky and spam SMS. This ruling allowed the operators to charge whatever they like to do. Already T24 start charging Re1 for local SMS and Rs 1.50 for STD SMS post 100 SMS on a day.

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[…] SMS hit a roadblock in November last year when the incumbent mobile operators restrict incoming SMS from some operators (Airtel-Rcom, […]


On Sunday, Bharti Airtel sent out SMSs to all its subscribers, saying “Airtel users may face an issue while sending SMS to Aircel numbers due to a pending inter-operator agreement at Aircel’s end. We will keep you informed on the resolution.”

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