12:26 pm - Friday 20 October 2017

TRAI issues New Guidelines to curb unsolicited SMS and Calls

By Parvina Purkayastha - Mon Nov 05, 5:58 pm

Telcos have 15days to implement the guidelines

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has issued a new directive to all telecom providers to curb unsolicited SMS and Calls. TRAI had earlier issued guidelines on same but it seem to continue to be a major problem even after introduction of SMS spam guidelines.

TRAI has given 15 days to telcos to implement the new set of guidelines and here are the directives :

1. Put a price restraint on sending more than one hundred SMS per day per SIM at a concessional rate.

A subscriber is free to send SMSs beyond 100 in a day, however, all such SMSs sent beyond one hundred SMS per day per SIM shall be charged at a rate not lower than fifty paise.

2. To restrict unregistered telemarketers from sending bulk promotional SMSs using software applications, Access Providers have been mandated to put in place, within three months, a solution, which will ensure that no commercial SMSs are sent having same or similar characters or strings or variants from any source or number.

This is to ensure that not more than 200 SMSs with such similar ‘signature’ are sent in an hour. However, registered telemarketers, transactional message sending entities and telephone numbers exempted by the Authority are excluded from this provision. Normal consumers sending non-commercial SMSs will also not be affected by this measure.

3.  The lodging of a complaint against an unregistered telemarketer call has been made easier.

Now the complaint can be lodged through SMS by simply forwarding the spam SMS to 1909 after appending the telephone number and date of receipt of the SMS. Mobile operators will also need to set-up a web-based complaint registering system and a dedicated e-mail address to receive such complaints on spam messages and calls.

4. For increasing consumer awareness and to caution against misuse, telcos have been mandated to send SMS to all customers on periodic basis, advising them not to send any commercial communications and informing them about the consequences of misuse.

5. The TRAI has also asked telcos to take an undertaking from new customers in the Customer Acquisition Form that they shall not use the connection for telemarketing purpose and in case of using the connection for telemarketing purposes, the connection shall be liable to be disconnected.

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