Mobile phone users in India have been banned from sending more than 100 text messages a day as part of a clampdown on nuisance telemarketing in the subcontinent.
The Indian telecoms regulator said the new rules, which come into force on Tuesday, should end the dozens of unsolicited text messages received daily by Indians. India has the fastest-growing mobile market in the world, with more than 700 million subscribers.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has made several attempts to curb the burgeoning number of telemarketing firms who bombard mobile phone owners, but messages for credit cards and weight loss have not been eradicated.
About 135 million mobile phone owners have signed up to the “do not call” register, introduced in 2007, which prohibits telemarketers from making spam cold calls. But as the cold calling was reduced, the volume of unsolicited text messages sent daily has risen exponentially.
However, the 100-message limit is unlikely to inhibit the daily rituals of the heaviest mobile users. Pew Research found that 18- to 29-year-olds in the US send or receive a daily average of 87.7 text messages. Its study of Americans’ text messaging habits, released last week, found that mobile users send or receive 42 text messages, on average, a day.
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.