There exists a nationwide ban at the moment on sending bulk SMS and MMS across to one's contacts. The move, at the time of its implementation, received a lot of criticism from the masses, since SMS is a popular medium of communication. Now, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has asserted that the ban on bulk SMS should be lifted immediately, as it is affecting the business of several medium and small enterprises operating in the country. The association added further in its statement that there are over 1,00,000 enterprises, largely small and medium enterprises that use the SMS medium to reach out their customers. These messages, it added are sent out by over 3,000 registered telemarketers in line with TRAI's rules. 

One mobile phone to every poor family (Image credit: Getty Images

IAMAI believes the medium can be used to send positive messages(Image credit: Getty Images

The government has enforced a 15-day ban on sending bulk SMSes and MMSes throughout the nation, after it was found that miscreants had used the medium to instill fear in the minds of those from the northeast, and incite violence in the country. The IAMAI, however, stated that the commercial messages sent across by telemarketers are sent on behalf of recognised organisations through authorised telecom resources and hence, there was no scope of any mischief through these messages. IAMAI added that these are most firmly controlled and monitored. 

The IAMAI is of the opinion that the government should use the services of bulk SMS providers to send out positive messages during both normal and crisis situations, instead of banning it altogether. Interestingly, reports quoted Subho Ray, president of the association, as saying, “If we are approached by the government, our members would be more than willing to send out free bulk messages to spread correct information and general goodwill across the country.”

Meanwhile, in what comes as a breath of fresh air to harried users, the government has lifted the cap on the maximum limit on bulk SMS from five to 20 with immediate effect. Reports confirmed that according to the Ministry of Communications, the permissible limit of bulk SMS/MMS has been raised to 20 in place of five.

The ban had been imposed against the backdrop of the exodus of northeastern people from cities like Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad following a tide of rumours that they would be attacked. Rumours were being spread through SMS/ MMS that people from the northeast region would be attacked after Eid on Aug 20 to avenge the recent ethnic violence in Assam, in which more than 74 people were killed. The rumours caused thousands of students and workers from the northeastern states to flee to Guwahati from Bangalore by special trains.

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