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Business News/ Companies / News/  Telcos hike SMS tariffs of Amazon, Meta, other global firms by 25%

Telcos hike SMS tariffs of Amazon, Meta, other global firms by 25%

Indian telecom operators have increased SMS tariffs by 25% for overseas firms such as Google, Meta and Amazon. Companies will be charged ₹4 per message

Indian telcos hike SMS tariffs of foreign firms, including Amazon, Meta ad others (REUTERS)Premium
Indian telcos hike SMS tariffs of foreign firms, including Amazon, Meta ad others (REUTERS)

Telecom operators have hiked SMS tariffs for international firms like Google, Meta, Amazon, and others. The SMS tariffs are increased by 25% for overseas firms for sending messages to Indian customers. According to the media reports, the companies will be charged 4 per message. The decision has come at a time when overseas firms have expressed concerns that Indian telcos such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vi overcharge them for sending SMS like OTP, confirmation codes, and other updates, to Indian customers.

Recently, Amazon and Uber have reduced the volume of their SMS and communication with Indian customers via apps or emails.

The firms have knocked on the doors of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to levy domestic rates on them as their servers are in India and they have an India subsidiary.

Amazon is one of the overseas firms that lobbied telecom regulators to pay domestic rates. It claimed that SMSes are domestic and originate from Indian servers. The e-commerce platform has been lobbying the TRAI since 2019.

Amazon heavily relies on SMS/text messages in India for a range of notifications including login, financial transactions, delivery orders, etc. Meta also spends millions of dollars in sending messages to its Indian audience.

But of all international text messages, Amazon alone accounts for roughly 20% of the traffic, according to The Ken.

Recently, Paytm and Google Pay also planned to replace SMS alerts for customers' bank transactions with app notifications.

Contrary to the foreign firms, Indian telcos have said that overseas companies host their application and user databases outside India which are used to communicate with servers located in India and therefore international rates should be levied on them.

India telcos charge International Long Distance (ILD) rates from Amazon, Meta, Google, ShareChat, etc.

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Updated: 31 May 2023, 10:07 AM IST
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