Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog header image 2

What were they thinking when they banned all non-P2P-SMS?

September 25th, 2010 · 10 Comments

On Wednesday (Sep 22), ahead of the Ayodhya verdict, the Government of India through the Department of Telecommunications banned all bulk SMS and MMS in India for 3 days. The Supreme Court then pushed the Ayodhya verdict out, and the DoT responded by extending the ban for an additional 5 days till Sep 30! The purpose of the ban was, ostensibly, to prevent mass mobilisation of people via SMS before and after the verdict.

What the DoT does not realise or understand is how mission-critical SMS has become in the past few years. Banks send passwords by SMS for Internet banking, credit card transactions and ticketing confirmations come by SMS, taxi bookings send details of the vehicle and the mobile number of the driver by SMS, people get their news and other updates on SMS, and so on. SMS has become part of an infinite number of business processes. A single unforeseen and senseless act of banning every kind of non-person-to-person SMS disrupts the flow of commerce in India. In 21st century India, why do we think like we are caught in a time warp? Why don’t we think through the implications of our actions?

As a company engaged in the business of SMS (both for enterprises and consumers), actions like these play havoc for us. There is no person to talk to, there is no alternative that is considered – a blanket diktat is issued, and that’s it. This is simply not done. But I forgot. We are a country with 21st century aspirations in people but a government that is still an extension of the British Raj.

Tags: Uncategorized

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Piyush Ranjan // Sep 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I understand your pain. But as a customer I am very relieved because my phone is silent and not buzzing every 30 mins with a useless message. If they allow banks to send SMS then they can keep it this way forever and nobody would complain.

    I hate it to break to you that SMS is PITA most of the time.

  • 2 Mallikarjuna // Sep 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Very True.
    I’ve not been able to add new payee to my bank account & unable to move money, because government is thinking, SMS will add to trouble.

    The amount of power, Department of Telecom weilds is wow, too much.

    Indian Government must be the foremost authority on Ban/Banning.

    Never attempt to solve the issue, just ban it.

    crazy.
    Let’s bear in mind, former telecom secretary is the new Vigilence Commisioner.
    God Save us.

  • 3 Mallikarjuna // Sep 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Very True.
    I’ve not been able to add new payee to my bank account & unable to move money, because government is thinking, SMS will add to trouble.

    The amount of power, Department of Telecom weilds is wow, too much.

    Indian Government must be the foremost authority on Ban/Banning.

    Never attempt to solve the issue, just ban it.

    crazy.
    Let’s bear in mind, former telecom secretary is the new Vigilence Commissioner.
    God Save us.

  • 4 Akshar // Sep 25, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Really stupid. How cant the public keep quite against this decision? My own project is halted because of this moronic decision.

    Leaving aside the business part of it, its also a question of freedom of expression.

  • 5 Harini Calamur // Sep 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    the last week has been absolute bliss – no stock brokers sending me bulk messages to trade; no one sending me sms about holidays that i don’t want ; no one telling me how to earn Rs.30k a month sitting at home.

    I have simply begun checking online – data about bill payments, cc payments and the like.

    while I am against the idea of the state banning anything – i wonder whether it i s our own sense of not following rules and laws that is responsible for this. For example, just check how Mumbai motorists break a signal without any thought – the law is meant to be followed. if organisations followed the DND (Do Not Disturb) code and bulk messaging – maybe, this would not have come to pass.
    There is nothing preventing you (or me) from sending a 1000 sms’s to all people in our address book about our pleasure or displeasure of the Ayodhya verdict …

  • 6 sachin // Sep 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    i feel good about the decision atleast for 5 days people can keep themselves away from flithy messages and promotion..

  • 7 Sundar // Sep 26, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    It is a very serious affair. I just realise why I did not get SMS after using credit card or after reservations.

    Ayodya problem is not a war nor war like situation exists. Even if they want to ban bulk SMS for security reason, it should never be a blanket ban.

    How do we protest to the government?

  • 8 Ashish Jain // Sep 27, 2010 at 11:51 am

    What a week it has been ….. love it without the SMS….way to go !!!

  • 9 Parag Mahajan // Sep 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Its not about advertising SMS, but mission critical commercial services, in my case I am not able to transfer money through online banking service.

    And yes its absolutely right that gov hasn’t assessed Bulk SMS ban.

    Well in India just one person can spread word in Basti and everybody knows it. I don’t think that
    pre-SMS services, riots didn’t happen.

    Gov just follow the policy ‘If you cannot resolve it, then simply cut it’

  • 10 Sunil // Oct 2, 2010 at 10:19 am

    sir,this is sheer misunderstanding of DOT officials w/o realizing the meaning and importance of SMS consumers receive for the ATM or Internet banking transactions, this has nothing to do with social issues. I am surprised even the bankers are not raising the questions against the bank consumer’s inconvenience due to non availability of SMS after ATM withdrawls ( what if the CR/DEbt card is stolen and misused by third persons?)

    I hope these important services would resume 2nd/3rd Oct.2010.

    Jai Hind,
    Sunil Patkar (Pune)

Leave a Comment