You TRAI We Double TRAI [Double Cross]

Necessity is mother of all innovation they say. I agree, But innovating in a highly constrained manner is what really amazes me. And so after a much delay TRAI finally got around to forcing it’s draconian NCPR guidelines on us. Bulk SMS industry almost got wiped out and all the other innovative companies who were using SMS as a primary channel of communication suffered a major blow.double-cross We (ONZE) were also in some sense on the receiving end of this enforcement. We (SMS Pull based services) paid the price for the nuisance created by UCC over SMS.

But if the recent developments are true, Bulk SMS will be back with a bang. With the Diwali around the corner, every retailer is pushing big time to somehow get their messages delivered (unsolicited) to the consumers. And so some of the SMS Providers have come up with a way to work around NCPR guidelines. Use an international SMS Gateway. 

NCPR restrictions (or guidelines to be precise, because there is no physical restrictions) are only for Indian mobile operators. Not for the international one. Yes using an international SMS gateway will indeed be costlier, but if retailers are ready to pump in that money, sms providers will definitely oblige. And you know very well where this money will go. If the demand only from India rises so much, the price itself will no doubt come down making Bulk SMS accessible to every one.

This shoot first and ask later attitude of the government (especially with NCPR) is hurting a lot of nascent mobile VAS company. Not only does it not solve the core issue (UCC SMS) it kills a lot of good innovation.

Doesn’t this remind you of a 80’s Bollywood movie, the Police (TRAI) laid a trap for the smugglers(Bulk SMS), but it was not long before Police realized they have been double crossed. oops double trai’ed?

What do you think the government should do about this? And fast.

[Article reproduced from Mayank Sharma’s blog. Mayank is part of Onze team (the company behind Latlong product)]

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