Blocked SMS leaves consumers with sore thumbs

T. E. Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on November 23, 2012 Published on November 23, 2012


Row intensifies; Vodafone too bars Aircel

S. Vijay, a second year engineering student, is furious that he is unable to send SMS through his Aircel network to his friends using Airtel’s and Vodafone’s services. He could not receive messages either from these two networks.

Millions of mobile customers in Chennai and across India are bearing the brunt of an ongoing dispute with Airtel on the settlement of an inter-connection agreement over SMS. And, now Vodafone too has blocked SMS from Aircel to its network.

“Aircel’s SMS communication with Vodafone and Airtel numbers has been blocked by Vodafone and Airtel. We are trying to resolve this issue on a priority. Inconvenience to our customers is regretted,” said a statement from Aircel.

Taken unawares

Vijay’s grouse is that the problem started before Diwali and he was not even aware that messages were blocked till some of his friends complained they did not receive any SMS from him. “The mobile is my lifeline. I feel like I have lost something big in not being able to send and receive messages to friends,” he said.

In fact, students are the biggest users of the messaging service in any network. T. Murthy, a senior official with a public sector undertaking and in the Aircel network, said he could have missed important messages sent by people in the last few days.

“I was not aware of the blockade, else I would have alerted people well in advance,” he said.

A Chennai-based media professional who is on an Aircel corporate user group plan says being unable to send or receive messages from an Airtel user is downright inconvenient.

“I send out messages thinking my colleagues who are on Airtel have got it and then wonder why they don’t respond. And, I have often had colleagues telling me why I didn’t have the courtesy to reply to them, when I haven’t got any message from them.” While this can be irritating to users, it can assume graver proportions if the messages are more important, such as an alert to a meeting, or picking up someone from the airport, he says.


Published on November 23, 2012
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