Winning Bizness Desk
Mumbai. A group representing three Indian companies Airtel, Vodafone and Jio has complained to the government that foreign companies like Amazon and Microsoft are defrauding the Central Government and telecom companies of Rs 3,000 crore annually by sending SMS to customers through illegal channels. Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written a letter to Telecom Secretary Neeraj Mittal and said that Microsoft and Amazon are using WhatsApp, Telegram and other unregulated platforms to send SMS to customers. These companies are avoiding sending SMS through legal means, which is not only a gross violation of licensing and safety norms but also a loss of revenue and foreign exchange earnings to the exchequer.
Gray & unregulated methods can arise
The letter demands the Center to declare WhatsApp and Telegram as illegal platforms for commercial SMS. Fortune 500 companies use international A2P (application to person) channels like WhatsApp for promotion through OTP. If this practice is not curbed, it will encourage the use of gray and unregulated methods, COAI said. Could. This could pose a national security threat. According to a report, the size of business SMS for India's telecom companies was Rs 2,500 crore in FY 2023. If messages are sent through platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram, companies can suffer huge losses.
Demand to make a common rule
Recently, during the financial results of Bharti Airtel, Managing Director Gopal Vittal had demanded to make a common rule on this. These companies have demanded from Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnav to regulate such communication apps by increasing the limit of telecom services in the upcoming Telecom Bill. There is a charge of Rs 0.13 for sending such business messages in India. International business alerts charge around Rs 4-4.5 per message. Telecom companies claim that tech companies are using unlicensed routes to avoid international business messaging fees.