India’s Answer to SMS Spam: Limit Daily Text Messages to 100 per User

SMS spam has become a major problem in India, which has become the world’s largest and fastest-growing mobile market with over 700 million subscribers.  In an effort to combat the problem, The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has imposed a controversial limit of 100 SMS messages per day, per person.

The new rule, which went into force today, should end the dozens of unsolicited text messages received daily by Indians, according to the telecom regulator.  Though regulatory agencies across the region have made broad effort to curb the amount of unsolicited messages users receive, there’s still a huge problem with spam associated with things like credit cards and weight loss scams.

India introduced its “Do-Not Call list” in 2007, and 135M mobile subscribers have since signed up.  Since marketers can’t make unsolicited calls to mobile users, they’ve turned to SMS, and daily spam messaging has gone up exponentially.  Since other initiatves introduced to curb the problem were unsuccessful, the TRAI saw imposing a daily limit as the only answer.

Though limiting text messages to 100 per day shouldn’t effect a majority of mobile users, there’s still a subset — mainly younger, text-happy consumers — that will likely hit or exceed the limit.  Others argue that the government has no right to limit communication, even if it’s in their own best interest.