SMS Termination Charge and Transactional SMS Charge-TRAI

Top of FoTRAI prescribes SMS Termination Charge and Transactional SMS Charge

TRAI has released:

(i) ‘The Short Message Services (SMS) Termination Charges Regulations, 2013’ which prescribes cost based SMS Termination Charge as 2 paise per SMS;

(ii) Amendment to the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010 which prescribes a transactional SMS charge of 5 paise per transactional SMS . These regulations will be applicable from 1st June 2013.

SMS termination charges are the charges, which are payable by originating Access Provider to the terminating Access Provider for each SMS, terminated by it on the network of Terminating Access Provider.

As per the prevailing IUC regulations, SMS termination charges are under forbearance. The Authority noted that though the policy of forbearance on SMS termination charge has worked satisfactorily in the past when the use of SMS by the subscriber was limited. In the changed circumstances especially due to exponential increase in the number of commercial SMSs, large imbalance in SMS traffic between the networks of interconnecting service providers, unilateral imposition of SMS termination charge and in case of non agreement, disconnection by some dominant service providers and growing litigations amongst the service providers, the Authority reviewed the policy of forbearance in SMS termination charges and prescribed cost based SMS termination charge.

The issue of IUC for SMS was raised by TRAI in its consultation paper dated 27.04.2011 wherein stakeholders submitted their comments and counter comments. In continuation to its consultation paper, the Authority vide its letter dated 13.12.2012, again also asked all the service providers regarding the international practices with regard to SMS termination charge, network element used for providing SMS termination, cost data and costing methodology for estimating SMS termination charge. Many of the service providers have reiterated their stand of Bill and Keep for SMS termination charge as they have submitted in their comments on the consultation paper dated 27.04.2012. In support of their suggestion of Bill and Keep, they have also submitted international practices in this regard. These service providers have submitted that in case, TRAI decides to prescribe SMS termination charge, it should be strictly on the basis of cost and according to their submission it should be less than 1 paise. On the other hand, some of the large Telecom Service Providers (TSP) are of the view that the termination charge for all types of SMS should be prescribed at a level, which allows the terminating operator to recover their cost as well as successfully address the concerns of SPAM and pesky SMSs. According to these large TSPs, the smaller operators are selling bulk SMSs to the telemarketers at comparatively cheap price and the revenue earned by them through the sale of bulk SMS is primarily because they are able to send large number of transactional and promotional SMS to the subscribers of other networks.

In order to create certainty in the market, exigencies created by certain dominant players and in order to protect the interests of the consumers, submission of some of the service providers that as per Hon’ble TDSAT order, SMS Termination Charges should be cost based and work done principle, the Authority has prescribed cost based SMS termination charge as Re. 0.02 (Paise 2 only) per SMS.

While doing this exercise, the Authority has observed that apart from promotional SMSs, there is a large traffic imbalance between different networks on account of transactional SMSs also. The Authority had earlier prescribed a promotional SMS charge of Re. 0.05 on promotional SMS sent by registered telemarketer in the seventh amendment to Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010. Therefore the Authority has also simultaneously released eleventh amendment to the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010 to prescribe a transactional SMS charge of Re.0.05 (paise 5 only) per transactional SMS. In the amendment to the regulations, the provision has been made to exempt Government agencies from the transactional SMS charges.



1. Are you a subscriber?

And do you wish to block commercial communications?

You can register your preference with your Service Provider either by way of voice call or SMS.

In either case, you can do so by accessing the number 1909. Please note that this number is Toll Free, which means that the call you make or the SMS you send to this  number will not be charged.

2. In blocking the commercial communication, you have two choices. You can register either in the

(a) Fully Blocked category; or in the

(b) Partially Blocked category

3. If you do not to want to get any commercial communication on your phone either by way of voice or SMS, please register in the Fully Blocked  category;

4. Please register in the Partially Blocked category, if you wish to get commercial communications in the form of SMS in respect of any or all or some of the following seven subjects:

1. Banking/Insurance/Financial products/Credit cards,

2. Real Estate,

3. Education,

4. Health,

5. Consumer goods and automobiles,

6. Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT,

7. Tourism and Leisure.

Please note that in the Partially Blocked category, you will not receive any commercial communications in the form of voice calls.2

5. How to register?

6. Once you have registered, you should get, subject to the correctness of your request, a unique registration number by SMS within 24 hours of registration. Please keep this number carefully as this will serve as a reference for your registration of preference.

7. Your request for registration on the National Customer Preference Register will be given effect to in 7 days counted from the date of request for such registration to the access provider.

8. If you are already registered in the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC)  you do not have to re-register; your registration will continue  under the ‘Fully Blocked’ category.

9. You may make a change in your preference at any point of time after expiry of three months from the date of registration or three months from  the date of last change request.  The service provider will confirm the registration of such a request within 24 hours to you through SMS,  subject to the correctness of request.  In case of errors in request, access provider will advise you to make a fresh request.

10. You may make a request for withdrawal of your registration from National Customer Preference Register, at any time after expiry of three months from the date of registration. The service provider will delete your number from the Provider Customer Preference Register inform you of  the withdrawal of your registration through SMS within 24 hours,  subject to correctness of such request. 

11. No amount shall be charged from you for registration or change of preference or de-registration.

12. In case you receive an unsolicited commercial communication after expiry of seven days from the date of your registration in the Provider  Customer Preference Register, you may make a complaint to your Access  Provider, through voice call or SMS. The complaint has to be registered from the telephone number on which the unsolicited commercial communication has been received. Your complaint should be made within three days of receipt of the unsolicited  commercial  communication. 

13. In such complaints, please mention the particulars of the telemarketer, the telephone number from which the unsolicited commercial communication has originated, the date, time in 24 hrs format and brief description of such unsolicited commercial communication.

14. The customer complaint registration facility is toll free and telephone number for the same is 1909. The complaint will be acknowledged with a  unique complaint number provided by access provider immediately.

15. The access provider shall take appropriate action on the complaint and  inform you about its resolution within seven days, subject to the  correctness of the complaint. 

16. Detailed procedure to register the preference in National Customer Preference Register, change in registered preference, de-registration and  registration of complaint is given on website,  tab  ‘Information to customers’.

DO NOT CALL- TRAI- unwanted calls and SMS -STOP- BLOCK THEM

National Do Not Call Registry- REGISTER NOW AND AVOID UNWANTED CALLS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is said that the 130.21 million subscribers are registered with National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) as on 25th August, 2011, as per the information provided by TRAI. The National Do Not Call Register has been renamed as National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) w.e.f. 10th Feb. 2011. 
TRAI has issued “The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010” on 1st December 2010 with the objective to provide an effective mechanism for curbing Unsolicited Commercial Communications. The main features of the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010 are as follows: 

(i) Filtering of Calls and SMS both by Access Service Provider and Telemarketers. 

(ii) In order to ensure effective control, there is a provision of security deposit by telemarketers to their Access Service Providers and deduction ranging from Rs.25,000/- to Rs.2.5 lakhs in case of violation. 

(iii) In case telemarketer is not complying with the regulation even after deduction from security deposit, there is a provision for blacklisting of telemarketers. 

(iv) Disconnection of telecom resources (s) of Unregistered Telemarketers by Access Service Providers. 

(v) In case Access Service Provider is not complying with the regulation, there is a provision to levy financial disincentive ranging from Rs one lakh to ten lakh. 

(vi) The regulations lay down a separate number series and specified SMS header for telemarketers for voice calls and SMSs respectively. 

(vii) The customer can opt to block all commercial communication or opt for partially blocked category.

subscribers can block all the unwanted marketing calls and sms- TRAI


The Telecom regulatory Authority of India(Trai) said that it will take 4-6 weeks to curb the menace of unsolicited calls and SMSes after DoT cleared the ‘140’ number series exclusively for landline phones of telemarketing companies.

The telecom regulator had earlier asked DoT (Department of Telecommunication) to allocate easily identifiable number series for telemarketing companies in order to put a check on unsolicited calls and SMSes. DoT has cleared the ‘140’ number series exclusively for landline phones of telemarketing companies to help consumers recognise such calls.  It is further understood that once the TRAI  get the number from the DoT, which is expected soon, will be able to implement the series in four to six weeks. Since the telecom service providers need to make certain changes in their networks, they should be given 4-6 weeks before implementing the scheme.


Trai has recommended a maximum fine of Rs 2.5 lakh on telemarketing companies for making unsolicited calls or SMSes to a consumer registered under the national customer preference register — a modified version of Trai’s ‘Do Not Call Registry’ list.

A call from a landline number can be identified based on a STD code — the initial digits and then levels (digits following STD codes), which differs from exchange to exchange within a city.

It was contended that in case an identifiable series of ‘140’ is used, it would impact the numbering system used at present for allocating new connections.


Adding 3-digit series to landline numbers will take total digits to 13 and to transmit such numbers on telecom networks, especially for caller line identification, BSNL and MTNL need to install new equipment in exchanges.

Subscribers have the option of choosing to be under the ‘Fully Blocked’ category, which is akin to the ‘Do Not Call Registry’. The user can also choose the ‘Partially Blocked’ category, in which case, they receive SMSes in the categories chosen by them.

Trai has identified seven categories — banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication and entertainment, tourism and leisure.